Nine LaMaitre CC
Limbs looped and swirling, our skin a carnival we never want to leave. A fun house of a night, riding a Ferris wheel slow until we jump and dive into each other’s bones.
I caress his chest that houses the two horizontal thick scars telling me he was someone else. But isn’t that true for all of us? And how his past doesn’t pique my curiosity, doesn’t haunt me. A former him, a her that has nothing to do with me. I’m not curious about his former female form because he is the person with whom I have fallen in love.
I equate this with my own scars. The chunk of years I spent slicing my arms, legs, thighs. The remnants inscribed on my flesh that tell him I too used to be someone else. But like me, he doesn’t care to know the former versions I have been.
We care in the sense that the past creates our present selves, but I’m no longer the self-harming she and he is no longer a she and we have settled into our new selves, our scars no longer holding such emotional weight. Such significance. What we thought defined us. They just are. Just exist. Like us.
I finger his chest scars before fingering him. His hands grasp my jagged forearms. Scars are caressed.
We exist in the present tense.
Chelsey Clammer is the award-winning author of the essay collections Human Heartbeat Detected (Red Hen Press, 2022), Circadian (Red Hen Press, 2017), and BodyHome (Hopewell Publications, 2015). Her work has appeared in Salon, The Rumpus, Brevity, and McSweeney’s, among many others. She teaches online writing classes with WOW! Women On Writing and is a freelance editor. www.chelseyclammer.com
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