Issue 14 – Summer 2008 – Reagan Barna

Reagan Barna



I am opening       
a badly healed scar.

On the floor of my bathroom
again           I delicately lay 
down a white
sheet, torn and stained. Use my hands
to push it against each and every corner.

I search for sharp objects.
A razor blade, dull, covered in dry
soap. This has already been used     and place
it back where it was.

The kitchen—
A small knife, thin and sharp.
Peel, to cut               away or pull              off the skin
And in the               middle, a                     core—
of what?

A bread knife, wide and jagged.
Slice. To cut            something,
or to be cut by it, cleanly.        Effortlessly.

This is not clean or effortless.
Even peeling onions requires patience, tears—
I imagine my mother, “Keep a close 
eye on your hands, darling. Do not hurt yourself.”

I open the bathroom cabinet. Tweezers and a small pair 
of scissors—
Pluck, to take          away swiftly, 
often by means of skill or strength.    Pull 
out by the    roots some or all of   something. Courage 
and determination.

I shatter the long mirror with my fists. “Do not hurt yourself,”
whispers my mother.
I choose a small piece of the broken glass, 
tiptoe around the rest for a broom.


Dig.      Break up, overturn, or              remove.
To obtain,                uncover and         free.
Understand fully or with             sympathy. 
Do not pity me, I think.

As if posing for a portrait I sit peering at my reflection. 
The mirror is broken—
small lines run diagonally, edge
to               edge.

I watch my tears fall, a small
stream of water moving quietly
down the scar of my arms.

Heal, to be repaired and restored.       Rectify
something that causes discord and animosity.   Rid—
of a wrong and painful        affliction.

               “Do not hurt yourself.”

Carefully I peel away edges.
With patience I slice deeper than before.
Delicately I cut around and between 
the purple tints in my skin—
less blue, more red.

Dig. I am still here—
I am         still           digging. 
Breaking and             plowing.

To be repaired and restored. Rectify
that causes discord and animosity—

To be uncovered and set



Reagan Barna rew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is twenty-three years old, and currently resides in Manhattan. She has been published in Barnwood International Poetry Magazine as well as Underground Voices Magazine. She can be contacted at