by Shannon Barber
Take the blade.
Her voice is smooth almost a monotone and the handle of her blade is cool against my sweating palm.
She watches me — my eyes directed to the left of the thing in my hand. I don’t tremble but my eyes shake.
I am so afraid.
Look at it. She doesn’t speak but I hear the command.
I look at it folded demurely in my palm. The pretty pearlized handle worn smooth where her fingers have held it. If only she could wear down the terrors that live in my skin with that touch.
I turn it in my hand and open it.
The action is smooth and silent, the way the light fragments on the thin edge dazzles my eye. This is probably what love at first sight feels like.
I run the flat of the blade across my arm; it whisks away a stripe of hair. There is no sound but there is music.
When I look up at her again her shirt is off as always I am taken by her frilly bra and freckled sternum.
She lowers one strap and I stare at the expanse of plump flesh cradled in her palm.
Her murmur is barely anything, need like this always takes her voice.
Her blade and my fingers create together, mingle her blood and lust with my fear and love.
Relief for her, anticipation for me. Yet my hands are steady as is her breathing.
Tonight it is not my turn but I am satisfied.
When it all gets to be too much, we know.
We know it in our own flesh and fingers and scars. UG
Shannon Barber is a 37 year old author from the Pacific Northwest. When not writing or commuting she enjoys crocheting, pie, extravagant coffee, blogging and taking long walks. She has been writing the better part of her life and getting published around the intertubes for about 15 years in print and around the internet. She lives near Seattle with her partner, several raggedy computers and a lot of creepy knickknacks. Her most recent work has been seen in Luna Luna Magazine and her brand new Self Care book. To read more of her stories both true and not, please visit her at www.shannon-writes.net
Carrie Mae Rose is a sculptor, seeker and technologist whose research overlaps into the fields of fine art, technology, fashion, science and mysticism. The central theme of her work for the last 12 years has been around vulnerability and protection, both personal security and national security. During a recent Computational Fashion Fellowship with Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, her focus has shifted to help humanity survive and thrive in outer space. She has exhibited, spoken and participated in events with MoMA, Brooklyn Museum, Rockefeller Cultural Innovation Fund, Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, Microsoft Social Computing Symposium, NY Hall of Science, Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, IgniteNYC, Business Volunteers for the Arts, Princeton Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and Parsons The New School for Design. Recently in New York she has exhibited work in BETA Spaces, Devotion Gallery, Galerie Protégé, Gallery 151, Con Artist Collective, Eyebeam Art & Technology Center and this Spring in a new online MoMA project entitled Design & Violence. Carrie Mae holds a B.A. from Prescott College and an M.F.A. in Design & Technology from Parsons The New School for Design. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.