Occam's Razor

When she cuts herself for the first time the water runs pink, and it doesn't stop, and it doesn't stop. She asks for the blue one, but the blue one was his. It's not his, she says. He left it behind. The blue one has more blades, she says. It's better. She saw it on TikTok.

 

I tell her I'll put razors on my list, and she says Mom. She says I won't remember, but she says it with her eyes. He's not coming back, they say.

 

You're too young to shave, I tell her. At least I mean to, but I don't. Nothing feels better than fresh-shaved legs.

 

But the blue one is still his.

 

 

We put on our shoes at the same time.

 

Where are you going, I ask her, and she says out. She says with friends. She always says that.

 

I check her ears now when she's not looking, check for new holes stuffed with glitz. I check her garbage, check her texts. My skin prickles when I look at her. How can she understand.

 

I'm going to see Grandma, I tell her. She's busy texting someone.

 

Be back before dark, I tell her. What I mean is please come home.

 

 

Her hair is too thin now for brushing. I try anyway. It comes out in clumps.

 

Have you thought about it, the doctor asks. The machine breathes for her. Her hair comes out in clumps.

 

I know it's difficult, the doctor says. How can he understand. She's ready to let go, he says, but what he means is she’s not coming back.

 

Mom. Mom.

 

I try to say it, but I can’t.

 

Take your time, the doctor says. Think it over. Sleep on it.

 

But I can't sleep at night. I haven't shaved my legs.

© 2021