Anything Sharp

Alice White

Anything remotely sharp. Telephone poles and street signs
out the backseat window as your mother drives 
are suddenly violent, slashing holes in the sky—

You must imagine each one being swept flat, 
like grass, by a giant’s hand—flush with the curve 
of the planet. Or shut your eyes.

Your father kept saying His heart stopped
So it was a heart attack?
 you asked again. 
He shook his head. His heart stopped.

At some point, you find out how. Find out
he stopped it. Find out how 
he stopped it. 

One day you find whole years 
have slid into the spine of your diary. 

You start having trouble having anything
touch your neck—a collar, locket, scarf—
any boy’s lips. You joke to your friends 

you must have been Marie Antoinette 
in a past life. In your next life, you plan to be an animal 
impenetrable by a knife. If one exists. If anyone gets

a next life. Even the corners of tables are now
too sharp for you—you must rub them smooth—
the corners of books, cupboard doors—you must soften

every edge in the world.