Sandra Lindberg 






Look up at me,
Not at my hands.
Don't look down—
You'll grow dizzy.
Look up when you feel
The needle's sting or
Sense the thin twine
Slip through your flesh.
I watch my fingers guide the needle,
Draw the thread,
And pierce twice each lip
To sew shut your mouth.
When the steel pokes through, painted red,
And your breath comes sharp and swift,
My eyes meet yours.
Together, we blink back tears.
Yes, look at my eyes.
Keep your face still.
You'll break the threads
If you pull at them.
Forget my hands.
Listen instead:
You don't need words—for me, for them.
Your bound mouth shouts.


(Originally posted March 26, 2016)


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