I realize now that I am accumulating scars,
and that they mean things,
scattered into poems, knotted deeply into the weave
of my memory, veins in a stone.
This most recent, threaded with a blue stitch,
in my forehead, where everyone can see;
I watch people seeing it on the bus, and too,
they look at my nametag, at things that mark me,
and I watch them putting them together,
and I wonder how other people things that these things
happen, if they connect the details outside me,
fabricating events in my life, simple as an answer to
the question, “How did you get those stitches on your
Later it will be, how did you end up with those scars,
all of them, wherever they are.
Three thin lines by my right ankle, the slash on my left arm.
There will be some dark line here, on my forehead,
the white line in the little of my right palm,
and a cluster of scar tissue, like a tiny nebula,
situated over the arc of my hipbone,
and if I keep this up, this wild flailing and
misinterpretation and lack of awareness,
I will tumble haphazard through the world, dragging its nails
beneath me, trying to catch what it can catch.
I will leave skin behind; in return, here are scars,
deep memories in them, now like dreams,
now replayed so many times they are oral legend to me.
Where did you get those scars, says my mind to
my mind, as if a stranger asks me,
and this repetition begins: