Battle Scars

Fresh future-scars rise to their personal fame like mountains
they peak like nipples under the slightest of touches
they define one as far as one allows them to define
they grow under metal, they thrive under water.
They are read not with one’s eyes, but with one’s fingers
they are one’s – my – body’s story
you can read it as a version of Braille
this one here says about the time I was ugly
this one about the night I couldn’t
that – about the time I was happy but then two minutes passed
and I found myself in so much despair
that I trimmed a layer or two of my skin.
There is nothing romantic about it. There is
everything I wish I could do and cannot
because the tendrils of self-doubt lick
at my soul and scare it into submission.
There is stopping my partner
– of always, of sometimes, of once –
and telling them I’m sorry. Not because
I’m sorry I’ve done it, but because I’m sorry
they have to see them, to touch them.
Because I’m sure I’m broken, not bent,
because when I get dressed I turn away from the mirror
and look at anything else,
because sometimes I will smile and think they’re pretty
then hate them – I do this with my face,
with my tits, with everything about my body.
They said to wear them like battle scars
and I do, with fifteen pounds worth of lipstick
they stand as proof of battles I fought
in the darkness of my room and my mind,
and lost at least once a week.

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