HOW THE BODY HEALS ITSELF: A LOVE POEM TO MY SCARS
As unsettling as it is, blood is the first sign of healing––
the body's first responder, scabbing into a natural bandage,
nursing the wreckage. Blood vessels around the injury constrict,
tight as stitches, knowing by some wondrous instinct
when to widen again to allow oxygen and nutrients into the damage.
A cut remains open under the scab until the third stage of healing,
when new skin forms where the old was interrupted.
The edges pull inward and the wound becomes
a smaller scar. The body's miracle is knowing how to heal itself.
And if this is extraordinary, then what does that say about the hundreds
of healed scars that layer my arms? Once, the edge of a razor blade
was the only way I knew how to survive; a blade made to carve
away all of the ugly shame gnarled so bone-deep
inside me, it had to be cut out. I had to slash the memory
of a monster's hands from my body; who stabbed my childhood
in its chest the night he crept into my room. But after the mutilation,
I would wash the wounds out with care, layering antibiotic into the lacy
gauze bracelets that I used to dress the cuts with the softness of a mother's
touch. I did try my best to learn how to care for my body;
yet couldn't stop making more lacerations, couldn't quit the surgical precision
of self destruction. There was no other way free, and the cuts were just as hideous
as the hurt, anyway. Weren't they? You get so used to telling the past
one way that all the other ways start to feel impossible;
but there is something still so possible,
so marvelous within the story of my scars:
the way the blood knew how to clot itself, the swift
and tender narrowing of capillaries surrounding the wound,
the scab formed of my own salt and white blood cells;
the way my body tended to its own healing,
the best and only way it knew how.
Alyssa May Trifone is a 31 year old queer poet living in CT with her fiancee and family of primarily rescued animals.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.