Butcher Knife

by Lisa Lim

When I was young I used to carry a butcher knife to bed. My grandmother placed it in my small hands before tucking me in. She knew how I nightmared in the dark. Because I saw things. Wild animals that just escaped from the zoo. Ready to pounce on me as if I were some bloody rib eye steak. I imagined the clothes toppled on my dresser forming into carnivorous toothy beasts. Dressers turned into ferocious lions with wind-blown manes who roared above my head and rugs became snapping alligators sliding closer to the swamp of my bed. They pulsed closer towards me, eager to tear me limb from limb. I don't think they craved my grandmother because her skin was tough like leather and she tasted like tiger balm and old people spit. I liked the taste of her. But maybe it was acquired.

How peacefully I slept with a butcher knife hiding underneath my pillow.