The wound, open

The initial rip into the skin doesn’t hurt as much as you might think. You probably had anticipated it. You might have seen the blade or the shard or the spike all along and thought to yourself, “What if the devil got into that thing?”

The first puncture though, when the skin breaks and the foreign object enters and the blood gushes out may sting. It may tear and ache. It will definitely garner a visceral response. You might scream! You might cry!

But when that object is removed the pain begins. You might think it wise to leave it in until you get to the hospital. Let it hold the blood in and let the organs settle in around it. This is not healthy though and it would eventually kill you. You have to remove it. You have to take it out, either fast or slow and let it gush, let it bleed. You’ll need to look down at it and cry over it and hold it and then decide how to care for it.  

You’ll need to stitch it up with thread or twine, with your own hands or the help of others. You’ll need to baby it, cover it in bandages and ointment. You might get used to the site at first. The redness. The pus and swell. The way the skin oozes and smarts if you touch it or if something rubs against it. You’ll look at it and think, “This isn’t so bad.”

But then it will hurt and it will continue to hurt no matter how much dressing you put on. The truth of the matter is that it’s still a wound and it’s still open.

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