16 June 2016

Scars Linger

‘Memories fade but the scars still linger…’
-Tears for Fears

Once acid spilled, seeped
between my toes. Webbed
the flesh, melted it and
fused the pieces together.
Made knobbly bits of raised
burns that took ages to heal.
I remember how it felt
to walk when the skin
puckered and stretched,
tried to scab over
but needed to be cleaned
so often, scabs never formed.

Working a piece of soapstone
with the wrong tools
in art class at a public
school, and the wedge-shaped
carving knife slipped
and sliced the fleshy part
of my palm, extending
the heart line with a bright
red slash that bled into my
cupped hand, then washed away
in a splash of pink
in the stainless steel sink.
The skin tried to knit
back together right away
and kept pulling apart
whenever my hand moved.
Finally, all that was left was
a thin white line reaching
from the natural divot
in my palm all the way
to the side of my hand.

A round bulb of flesh
nestled against my sternum
just above my breasts
soft to touch, the evidence
of my stubbornness being
outdone by my body
rejecting a piercing
I kept forcing on it.

The part in my hair
on the left side,
brushing my pixie cut
forward from a cowlick
on the back of my head
exposes the thin cut
on my scalp where
my head collided
with a steel fence post
in a moment of
misperception. Hidden
by long, thick hair
for years, unremarked.

Three-quarters of an inch
of raised, pink flesh
a hand span from my pelvic
bone, just below the hairline
below the waistband of my
pants, where once I had
a mark distinctive to me,
that if someone saw just
my body, would know
was me instantly. Now it is just
a slash, and I had no say
in whether I wanted it removed.

Each scar on this pale and
fragile body, each cut made
in this thin skin, every hurt
that drew carmine drops,
and I can recall how I got
each one. The scars on
the inside of my right wrist,
on my left knee, right elbow,
chin, temple, collarbone,
at the nape of my neck.
I remember the needles,
the knives, the doctors,
the asphalt, the bicycle,
the bottle I dropped.
But somehow, I have
forgotten where
some of the scars
in my soul originated.

written 3 April 2016

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