She feels safe alone here at night,
spotlighted in the bright glow of the security lamp;
a litter of fallen leaves covers the steps to the entrance.

The same key opens the main door to the Anatomy Building
and the door to her tiny office.
The building is silent except for the hum
of machinery in the labs.  

Closing her office door, no one knows she exists.

She fervently wishes that she might dissipate into nothing – 
the razor in her bottom desk drawer is a safety valve.  
So long as destruction is an option,
she doesn’t have to actually do it.
Sometimes knowing the weapon is there is enough.

Other nights, she has to touch it in order to feel
the claws of despair loosen their grip.  
The razor’s pull is strong tonight.

She turns her key in the lock, reaching for the drawer handle.
Touching the sharp edge doesn’t satisfy.  

Delicately, quiet as if someone might notice
and stop her hand,
she lifts the razor, feeling the cool metal in her hand.
She knows where to cut – had done so once long ago.

Her family thinks she has ‘outgrown’ whatever
the problem had been.  
But their complacence is misplaced, faulty.
Delusional, really…