To the Quick
She's the kind of girl that takes long baths. A girl who counts the beads of sweat that trickle from temple to ear. Whose arm shares the tub's ledge with a kitten that leans over to paw at her rippling belly. Who notices the vein inside the cat's claw before it hooks her stretched skin. A girl whose mauled fingernails are outlined with traces of blood. Who never would be a girl for long. The kind that couldn't be blamed for failing to grip a slippery baby should it slide into bathwater turned cool.
Erin McKnight is a Scottish writer now living in Texas. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and W.W. Norton's The Best Creative Nonfiction. Erin is the fiction editor for the Prick of the Spindle and reviews poetry and fiction titles for Bookslut. She holds an MFA in creative writing, and teaches fiction writing in the Dallas community college system.