Thank you Elibet! Brilliant is good! 😉 As for the parentheses, I kept changing my mind and inserting & removing them. For some of them I really had a reason. In the first 3 stanzas, they are meant to be read as somewhat of an aside. In the last, it was to separate the blood — seen first — from the pain of the cut, felt later. (Though, maybe a simple “–” would work as well, or better.) Maybe they don’t really belong at all in stanzas 4 and 6. (Those awful second thoughts!) Thanks again for the input!