S J Mannion

S J Mannion is an Irish writer living in New Zealand. When she can she writes – when she can’t she reads.

“It takes a long time to make a short tale.”


There are parts of her body,
soft secretive, mostly hidden, hers the more so.
She cuts them, she showed me her
inner thigh, inside arm, lower belly.
Just above the pubic bone.
I use a scalpel, she says, a fine blade,
a beautiful and useful letting.
The pain succors, scars witness, blood evidences.
I’m done with crying, she says.
I don’t cut, there or anywhere.
My memory, a finer blade bar none yet honed.
When I remind myself
of who I am, of why.
I let it pierce me, my mind, my body.
The sweat and tremble of it.
The sheer, the sear, the slice.
The shame of it.
Get down on your knees.
On your fucking knees.
Say sorry. Beg me. I will stop.
And she did but he did not.

First published takahe 88
December 2016