The steel lives on the tip of my tongue. A strange synesthesia that bridges outer and inner worlds. Its edge hums in my veins. The cut it will make, the blood it will spill, the pain it will cause all force my heart up into my throat until my pulse deafens me and my mouth floods with saliva. It is a metal-flavoured anticipation.

I’m standing in no-mans-land with this razor in my hand. It’s not a civilized thing I crave. Nice women don’t fuck themselves to fractured images of parting their lover’s skin. Perhaps for some it’s about marking, claiming territory. Not for me. Fuck territory, fuck conquest.

I hear the tight, shallow breaths he’s taking. The brittle shield of a laugh he uses to obscure his fear. I know there’s a war inside him. The good part of him wants to back out, wonders what on earth he was thinking when he agreed to this. But the other part of him wants to give me this as an act of love. It wants to stay the course, to know he’s brave enough, mad enough to take it. He wants to trust me not to turn monstrous and casually pull this fine blade across his throat. But he’ll never know for sure until it’s over.

“So, here?” I say. “Yes, right here.” I slide over him, straddling his hips, trailing my fingers over his excellent, fragile flesh. The dusting of hair, the flat, taupe nipple that quells at my touch, the hilly landscape of his ribs. My Adam. My lovely meat man. My sacrificial lamb. “Where Christ took the Roman spear. This is where I want to cut you.”

He laughs again, but, beneath my fingers, his muscles tense. “Okay. Don’t go all religious on me, now.”

It’s too late. He is an altar between my thighs. An altar and an offering united. Flesh and more, a human animal. And here, in this moment, I am the god and the priest who serves. With my thirsty mind and greedy blade, I’ll take the senseless fruit of his fear. There. Right there.

That’s the spot I press my lips to, burnish with my breath. Beneath me, despite his fear, his reluctant cock is swelling. My cunt ticks like a clock. His eyes flit between my face and the blade. Meat metronomes, both of us, marking the time I’m losing all sense of. Perhaps seconds pass between his anticipatory flinch and the breath he’s caught. Perhaps an hour. Will I notice if he turns blue? He’d be such a beautiful blue.

I know he wants it to be fast and over, but I want it slow. Silver and gleaming, mirroring the pores on his skin as it travels, I tease the blunt edge of the razor down the center of his chest—a parodied autopsy—and watch the wings of panic flutter across his face, listen to him swallow, over and over, against a dry throat. But most of all, it is his eyes. They’re still flitting between the razor and my face, until I’m certain we have blurred together. How ever did he let this sick little woman into his bed?

I have not offered any rewards. No bargains or barter. No ‘if you let me do this, then I will do that.’ He must give me this because I want it. Because he tells me he loves me as I am and I am this thing that wants this.

Bending to the task, I hold his skin taut with my fingers and, angling the blade, let it rest there, anticipating its path. Then I draw, slow and shallow, across the living fabric of him. The slow, eversharp tug into the sacred softness. His breath is a high, soft hiss as his nerves inform him of the little crime that’s been played out upon his flesh.

Such a little cut, really. My eyes flood at the sight of the perfect red beads born in the wound, that grow as his lungs heave, that slither like flatworms over the lips of the cut and down his side. So dreadful, so beautiful. A nothing, a something, an everything, fleeting and trapped forever in the timelessness of my gorgeous sorrow. What have I done? What has he let me do? I’m tumbling through the high atmosphere, falling from grace, suffocating in the airless joy of the moment.

I lay the razor down, still trying to breathe, close my eyes, and slide the round hill of my cheek the sin I’ve made in his skin. It smells of sharp, anxious sweat, raw and coppery, too. He shifts beneath me, his fingers bury themselves into my hair. They cup my head and my face to his chest, rubbing my face in my work. I drag my parted lips through the bloody smear, taste it, and feel him ejaculate into the void between us.

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