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Flesh Wound, Bone Deep



from the intro:

We are a broken people.  Don’t tell me you’re not.  We all have our excisions and our griefs.  After the hysterectomy that preceded these other procedures by several years, I mourned the loss of my bodily cradle.  I hardly ever consider that a loss any more, only every day when I look in the mirror and see myself a bit rounder, a bit softer around the edges, a bit less-than.  


A whole lot more.  


I limp now.  I see people eye me sideways, taking in my scars.  They’ll never know what scars there are inside, which they cannot see but may behold, if they get to know me well enough.


Scars and breaks, voids and darknesses within: we all have them.  If you’re lucky enough to have known no pain in your life, you’re lucky enough.  But I do not envy you nor wish for your brand of good fortune.


In our flesh&bone&blood bodies, we carry our stories like salt miners carrying home in their pockets the quantities their handholds can amass and contain. We move through pain to perfection, a kind of perfection called Incomplete Completion, called humility-in-situ, called ache-to-return-to-the-darkness. What remains when what we’ve mined for dissolves?  We’re still cradle-bodies.  We’re still capable of growing things.  We must only then begin to see what it is we want to grow that we don’t already have.

In water, the written herstory of ark, of flesh, of what

cannot be torn from the pages of me.  The chatter, clatter, rhyme.

The order of my passport stamps sublime.  The time


I found a fountain in the woods, stood next to it and nearly died 

of thirst.  First exegesis of plot 

of land I call my body,  terra madre, a composite of invisibilia,


a container, a safehouse, bonehouse.  A hollow hollow space for lanterns,

that do not burn too deep or spread their flame but float and billow away wishes,

I don’t know what for, or how to name.

Self-Portrait as Melanoma, The Version After the Stitches Came Out

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