the scar

i look at you while my hand runs down your thigh
two inches long
one centimeter wide
this patch of skin is different from the rest
it has its own history.
without taking my eyes away from your face, i acknowledge it
my fingertips would recognize this anywhere; the same scar is burned into my thigh too
scared ashamed and naked, you are still radiating

i explain that our bodies are long-lost twins
different but so alike
twisting and contorting with time
they refuse anything with a hint of normativity and even things like zippers and buttons are snubbed
you smile shyly and ask to see my scar
i explain that i have a couple
“the doctors didn’t know what i was…”
that’s how i always explained my body, my identity, who i am

you get it
they did lots of tests
biopsies
surgeries
you get it
they didn’t know what i was
they didn’t know what i was
they didn’t know what i was

like my body was so alien
so foreign
they had to conquer and dissect it
womack, duke, chapel hill, walter reed, specialists came in
using new-fangled words they seemed to make up, my body became a secret code for doctors to crack
when they wanted a break from their mission, they covered it in back and knee braces so others would be thrown off the path [the braces did nothing for me]

my childhood was one big examination until one day i learned to say no
not just once but many times
no! no! no!
and when i said no, they ignored the fact that i was just a kid and made their new hobby one of constant disapproval
told me i failed myself, failed them, failed the world of science, failed future people like me
failed any potential chance of happiness…
but being her with you, now,
i know differently.

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7 Comments

Filed under writing/poetry

7 responses to “the scar

  1. This is my favorite of all of your poems that I’ve read.

  2. bev

    Wow. Just wow. You are such a powerful writer. And thank you, Ms. Crip Chick.

  3. bev

    Hi! I’ve chosen you for the “Roar for Powerful Words” award. Check out the details at AS SQ 8.

  4. Zach

    Man Stacey, you sure know how leave me excited, inspired, speechless, and giddy about our community all at once.

  5. I won’t say I “enjoyed” the poem, I was however engaged by it; the ability to tell a history of a different type of abuse; a pursuit to find you when you were already there. Interesting.

  6. Gorgeous language. The last two lines just pulled it all together brilliantly. Really, really beautifully done. Thanks for posting it.

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