wound collector

We met on a heatwave where our freckles floated right off of our bodies and it took several blocks before we could find a sturdy bench to house all of our moistened, loose skin. She asked me questions like: when was the first time and how long before the last and what feelings did it release in me and how does it feel when people touch them or ask about why they exist.

I rested each arm– one at a time — against the cold, soiled concrete ledge. She wanted to know about my tattoos and loved the way that they appeared like sliced-up stories on my flesh. She kept apologizing for her camera. I told her that I no longer apologize on behalf of my bones, so she shouldn’t have to pardon the plastic used to point and click me into focus.

All of these things are how they are supposed to be, I said.

She photographed my creases. The places on my forearms and wrists where I tried to disconnect. I was going to mention my hips to her, but they were so quiet, I forgot all about them. While I remained still, the mosquitoes took advantage of my sugared sweat. I watched welts pop up like internalized kernels, which began to itch my skin into a new color.

We stopped calling this summer a week ago, I screamed out to the slender flies. These scars are mine; they are not meals, only poems now. 

This was the second time today I converted my scars into sentences.

Before we parted, we hugged and I wonder how much scars weigh and which one of us is heavier. She told me the color of my red is so beautiful and suits me. I wanted to tell her the aroma of her history moved me in a way that would drip into many poems to come.

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