(This is a moderately violent poem featuring time travel. Even though it’s bleak, rest assured that I am doing fine. I’m a trained professional.)
One day, a man from the future appeared
and carved a message into my chest.
He smeared black ashes into the wound
to remain beneath my skin for life.
As he worked, he told me to be strong,
but ignored my innocent cries of pain.
He finished and told me to do the right thing,
then vanished as quickly as he had arrived.
The message bore only one word: “SCISSORS.”
I was too young to know what it meant.
When I learned how to read, I knew what to do,
and I carried my scissors wherever I went.
One day, my father tied himself up
to the ceiling. I found him there,
gurgling and growling and gnashing his teeth.
I took my scissors in hand and cut him free.
After my triumph, an ambulance drove him away
to the hospital, where a kind doctor explained
there just hadn’t been enough air in his brain,
but the damage was minor. His outlook was good.
As the months went by, it became quite clear
that the father who dropped from the ceiling
was not the same one who attached himself there.
The new one was angry, abusive, and cruel.
One day, my father discovered an ice pick
was the best way to get his point across,
in various places to various depths,
whenever things didn’t quite work out his way.
The dots ached for days and darkened to black,
but never had time to vanish completely
before more red dots joined them all over
my flesh. I still clutched my scissors.
My furious father struck a nerve at one point
in my forearm. My stinging, tingling fingers
grasped my scissors more tightly than ever,
drove them into his eyeball, and twisted.
One day, I looked in the mirror and saw
my attacker. His face was directly above
the hideous scar from the wound he had carved
among hundreds of pale white circular dots.
He was a man who once rescued his father
and killed him, whose numb hand still holds on
to a brand new pair of extremely sharp scissors.
All his mistakes can be fixed with one effort.
I’m always trying to find my way back
with a much better message: “KILL.”
When I deliver it, I’ll be strong,
and I’m going to carve it very deep.