How to catch a falling knife

Place an apricot under it,

let the flesh slow the edge

one bite at a time


pinch it between sheets

of soft cotton,

they may not protect the fingers

but they will absorb the blood


bottle it blade first,

stopper the wine, rum, apple juice-

point dipped in the liquid,

if it is silver

let it preserve champagne


time it, perfectly, so that you may grasp it by the handle

with a full fist gripping,

ripping it from its gravity


cushion it with down pillows

and let it flay the linen,

spreading insides

as a worrying fox spreads

pigeon feathers


knock it from its arc

or coax it gently from the air it grazes

fingertip it away from harm

assuredly but with delicacy, lightness


trust it not to fall

to sustain a teeter, brinking

on a fulcrum just so,

but should it overturn,

use gloves, use care


use a bowl of something,

butter perhaps, fresh from the fridge

it may surprise you with its efficacy.



(This poem was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing prize and appeared in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2013)

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