The First Cut
In the womb we sucked each other’s thumb. As toddlers we curled together like kittens and rubbed each other’s earlobes. Thirteen years later, she sits in front of me dressed in a hospital gown. Her body is still that of a child, and her hair, which has never been cut, is braided into one long plait and draped over her shoulder. Her emaciated arms are discoloured by lesions. “You brought the scissors?” She extends her palm with a cold solemnity. I hand over the scissors and hold taut the tail of her plait while she cuts, cuts, cuts thickly at its base, close beside her neck. I am stunned by its weight when it falls into my lap. There it lies, measuring the distance that has always been between us.
"The First Cut" most recently appeared in Orange Coast Review. Pizzey is Assistant Editor at PURBECK! magazine and