how to address a scar

I didn’t expect you to be here this long.

I was in math class, grade ten and you were just supposed to keep me from jumping.

When James B. told my best friend, Drew in 12th grade, that I should just kill myself already, you kept mocking me with your inability to go away.

I didn’t know you’d grow louder in the summertime, from sun baking you into a starring role on my arms.

My mother remembered a commercial for a cream that could be rubbed on scars to vanish them away. “They may not disappear completely,” she said, “but at least they won’t be so visible.” I cried that night, realizing how forbidden you are.

I was dressed in just skin and water, in a bathtub that belonged to me due to monthly rent payments and name on mailbox. When I was a kid, it was the water, which washed away my chalk drawings; I thought maybe it would wipe away the carvings on my hips too.

Hello. Yes, I remember the first time. And I also remember Rachel, from the mental hospital, teaching me other ways to push myself off ledges after all the sharps have been taken away.

No, I really meant it when I said that I find scars sexy, because it is a reminder we have given ourselves permission to falter.

Age nineteen, I am in the only car I ever owned—a green Honda Civic I titled: Quentin Antoin McKenna. At the gas station, the attendant looks at my forearm as I hand him a ten-dollar bill and he makes a comment, which reminds me there is no escaping this billboard of sadness.

I am engaging in an activity that some people call sex and the one pressed against me grabs my wrist and rubs callused thumb against what is raised. Calls it braille. Asks to read the rest of me.

You twitch each time you see others like you. Thunder against my skin knowing how similar we all are. How sad we all are. How in need of other languages we all are. How loud we all are. How brave we are. How desperate we are to survive and yet desire to die we all are. How. How. How. How. How. How. How. How. How. How. How. How. How. How. How.

your wrists.

We made love while on opposite sides of third floor Brooklyn. A slug on your left wrist and my gaze stuck on the story of dark pink interruption on your bright white skin. I spit three ounces of gender into your mouth while your right leg wrapped around my long day. You have no name; I have no emotions. We are greyred margins marked-up rewrites. Denim and laces surround us. A dancer slips whiskey between my palms and reminds me what I need. I feel slurred when I reach empty and cannot help to wonder if I am here to fall in love again. No one knows the directions to lost but if I can just remain here for five more minutes, I may find that detour.

an exchange of no longers

They leave behind their underwear. I’ve got yellows and waistbands. I’ve got stains and rips

They leave behind sores and un’apologized sexually transmitted diseases. Some let you know before entering; some feel the need to leave this on your skin like permanent shadows

They leave behind concert tickets and blown out eardrums and broken down umbrellas with detached wings and a shirt still stained with their overpriced scent

They leave behind recipes from family tree or internet databases and a tiny jar housing their favorite spice on your shelf and a jar of unmarked, unused ingredients from that time dinner was supposed to occur

They leave behind words promises lies secrets absolutions contemplations all that hair clogging drains and webbed in corner of bathroom and on pillowcase and remember that time you pulled their hair out of your    your

They leave behind photographs and luggage tags and luggage and postcards and paintings and books and poems and poems and poems and poems and poems

They leave ghosts of rust on finger from that ring purchased alongside peaches or plums from New Jersey flea market

They leave behind that scar on your wrist from

They leave behind

They leave

for cause of disturbance to lower half of body, see page 394

They’ve begun to run.

Run. Body.
Spandex. Body.
Make a mix tape to scream away those pounds. Body.

Winter wrangles air like an aggressive lover. Ties up ankles and wrists and blows frozen exhales against chin & tongue & earlobes. Whatever is exposed will be taken advantage of out here.

Wallets get stuffed into lockers the size of tin lunchboxes/ while the humans rummage around in rooms where bicycles leave no tire marks/ but miles may be reached just from heavy pedaling.

At this age, I am afraid of breaking a hip.
At this age, I worry the sound of my worrying will frighten the young ones away.

They’ve begun to run.

Because December offers too many options for pie and meat comes in so many different flavors and what are belts for but to encourage adjustments and tomorrow? Tomorrow there will be a cleanse. No dirty foods allowed.

They have begun to run.

See the ones with tattoos over scar marks like shark gills.
These lines are how my breaths escape. These lines are my coordinates. These lines are so I don’t forget what’s inside me.

Oh. Body.
Check out that Blood Clot, aggressively bold and voluptuous.
Check out the Gender Peculiarities on that one. Rub against the blur.
Suffocation through trauma? See pages 91-773

Spill homes into center of floor. Dance.

They have begun to dance. See?

Place do not disturb sign against ribcage or a little lower. A little lower. Lower than that. Lower. Create an infection from dissection of cracks. Of streaks. Of discolored disfigurations. There will be there will be a sequel to this bone structure.

Sneak preview: starvation
Sneak preview: a disrobe.
Sneak preview: an amputation or a haircut.
Spoiler alert: relapse.
Choose your own adventure: an experiment with sexuality.
Cliffnotes: Human runs away the sad off body. Eight marathons just to sweat off ages eleven through sixteen. An addiction to corporate-sponsored-spandex. Diet consisting of sharps and monsters. Socially networked social life. Silence. Harassment of fevers.

Advancement of education or mind bruises into a larger size.

Remark on the gratification of filth.
Cite your sources.
Utilize footnotes.
Keep running.
Or dance.
Include works cited page.
What about a table of contents.
See page. See page. See Body.
Run. Body.
Hide. Body.
Suck.It.In. Body.

For cause or reason for irritation, note all of the above.

consumption of the personal

photograph by performance artist Tracey Emin

Here is what I’ve done.
There is a ring. There is a sliced-out scream from forearm. There is a love letter. There are many love letters. There is a collection of bodies stained inside my underwear. There is a preference to live out loud on computer screen rather than in imagined silence of mind. There are sexual perversions hidden beneath bed. There is a collection of condoms in bathroom, bedroom, backpack, and back pockets of pants. There is a memorized poem about sofrito, chapstick and razorblades. There is a woman. There are many women. There is a man. There are disposed hairs growing inside knots. There is drug addiction. There is food addiction. There is sex addiction. There is an addiction to addiction. There is some gender stuff. There is an experimental approach to genitals and orgasms. There is a stolen memory, stuffed inside a sock drawer. There is an envelope of money. There is an unclassified stain. There are many stains. There is a revision of memories. There is a pile of notebooks. There are maps of directional patterns on tiny pieces of paper in pockets. There is a tambourine. There is a mix tape. There are many mix tapes. There is a passport. There is a phone number for a man that is no longer alive. There is a Fidgeon. There is an orchestra of padded bras, stockings, and false eyelashes identity. There is a purple vibrator. There is a history of mental illness. There is a pattern of lactose intolerance connected to lovers. There are lovers. There are many lovers. There is a soul mate. There is an un-mated soul. There is a remixed version of childhood. There is a pause. There is a hole. There are many holes. There is this life uprooted from poems and whispered assumptions and how about we workshop the time I lost my mind. Tell me I use too many semi-colons; tell me my imagery is too abstract and distracting; tell me I need to have a beginning middle and end…when I don’t even know how to exist chronologically?

can a reflection be walked in?

I see you with paper covering narrow face because too many people called you ugly and not enough humans called you invincible.

I see you crouched against bars like a jail called 14th street subway station with woman called mama and girl called sister and cardboard called megaphone for begging.

Here is an apple and I watch as you dig against the skin with your teeth, spit it out as though it is toxic. It’s OK to eat the flesh, I want to say, but instead I gather up your eating habits and wonder if you even eat enough to have habits.

I see you wearing enough raindrops to call yourself a puddle.

I see your arms covered in so many scars that your skin has become looseleaf, separate and removable.

I see your smile, curved downward and when you pass by accordionist wearing tattoos and blue hair, you want to notice her too. You want to thank her for playing Yann Tiersen as you cry into your palms. You want to ask her to follow you home and rub your back with each pressed note.

determine the need for cross pollination

Bones. Fat. Veins. Scar. Scratch. Roots. Mother. Remnant. Scar. Flaw. Fat. Wrinkle. Liar. Homo. Thighs. Daughter. Hazel. Curls. Knots. Scar. Fat. Fondled. Wrinkle. Knuckles. Belly. Fat. Callus. Flaw. Hurt. Angry. Scar. Scar. Scar.

things to do
things to think
things to catalogue

perhaps an appointment must be made to regulate blood cycle
hair growth in hard to reach places
interruptive coughing sprees
and that lump

how fat is fat is fat so fat

photo by francesca woodman

photo by francesca woodman

when you notice my fat fat fat
fondle it
suck out its glycerine and
use as lubricant


it is spring now and trees end their monthly rotation of nudity in honor of yellow leaves, sap and wind