She found that words had more weight when she carved them into her skin.
They meant more when she went over
Them with her little razor blade.
So she rolled up her sweats and carved words all along her thighs.
Words like loveless
Words she’d heard on street corners and at the dinner table since she was born.
Words that rattled in her head when she tried to sleep.
So she carved them in
Like epitaphs on tombstones
Like inscriptions underneath faceless statues
Like the words that are supposed to be next to every picture
You pin to a museum wall.
Calling out to what she was.
But she wasn’t those things.
She wasn’t ugly
But she was lost.
And every time she etched those words into her thighs
They got a little bit darker
The words sunk
A little bit deeper.
Until that was all she was.
With scars that had long overrun her thighs
And had spread across her like
The toddler settlers of old grabbing any land they could hold.
And so now she’s got words like
Etched across her forearms.
And I wish there was a happy ending.
I wish there was some man
With glistening eyes
And a kind smile
To spread his fingers across her scars
“None of this is true.
None of it is true.”
But there wasn’t
And she’s still got the words etched in her skin
But now she’s writing whole paragraphs across her belly.
Telling the child inside her that she hopes
It won’t be anything like her.