Power Tie

I stand in the shower, foot poised on the edge of the white porcelain tub, when my razor slips and I nick my thigh. Immediately blood wells up at the incision and I watch the red ribbon slowly work its way down my leg, to my knee, and past my ankle where it hangs, a beautiful pendulum, hot and crimson, before splashing to the water below. The ribbon widens as I watch it pour out; I am dizzy at the sight. The cut is deeper than I had suspected. My lover opens the door and steps into the bathroom; white clouds of mist swirl around his head, and he breathes in deeply, like Alice’s caterpillar. He pushes aside the shower curtain and watches me for a moment before reaching down to the end of my sanguine ribbon and pulling it out of me. It goes easily, and I feel it unraveling inside my leg, and up through my stomach and chest, leaving me hollow. I sit down in the water and watch as he wraps the ribbon around his hand like so much wire until my wound is dry and makes a puckering shape with eager lips, sucking in water, and air. My lover takes the ribbon and pulls it taught, straightening the wrinkles, and wraps it around his throat. One, two, over and through, he makes a windsor and straightens the knot in the mirror, smiling at the way the color compliments his shirt. He leans into the tub, and tussles my hair, waving goodbye as he heads off to work. I sit in the tub, poking a bloodless finger into my thigh, and think that I have forgotten to pack his lunch.