I study my bruises. I intend to own these gifts you’ve left on my body.
I examine them daily as they transform and heal. I grow to know them and to love them like silent, constant companions. The marks and contusions slowly disappear with the passing of the days and the luster of my skin returns more radiant than before…. Still, I lament the vanishing of these wicked visitors with disappointed relief.
The temporary scars migrate back into my body, the last of their journey a quiet, transformative odyssey. I am desperate to save these tokens of our pilgrimage. They are your wise accomplices turned into my consiglieri, my witnesses. I want to keep them, but they want to leave me after some time.
I make the most of them while they are still with me. I touch them and wonder at them throughout my waking hours. I bless them goodnight when I lay down to sleep and check on their overnight transformation every morning as I rise.
I sense these crescent moon scabs on the tops of my thighs under my clothing. They are each one half inch long and curl to perfect little first quarter moons lying on their backs. Or perhaps they are miniature representations of my body, as if hog-tied and balancing on my stomach with my legs and feet bound to my arms and hands stretching into the air behind me.
No, I prefer to see them as moons. Just like two gentle little moons, each one lying on her back in the sand.
Each moon scab is a brown-red color, a terracotta. The tender skin of the scab itself is paper thin and slightly concave. It is clearly not an incision made with a knife, it is worn away flesh, the sign of something rubbing aggressively and with ample time to mar the skin but not actually sharp enough to cause it to part and bleed. Had my flesh been in contact only a little while longer with the grating knot of hemp, the gashes would have gone deeper. They would have bled.
The skin surrounding each scab is tight and dark pinkred in color, the color of my nipples when they are most consenting. Blood rushing to that area, I suppose, pumping life force into the wound to heal it, the miracle of the body regenerating herself. This is the area that burns the most, the skin that now is called upon to protect the healing scars. The working skin.
On the right thigh the wound drops about a half inch slightly lower down my leg. From my vantage point, upside down, it looks like a spinning umbrella attached to the top of a hat, or a tiny bird peeking out of its nest with wings spread for the first time. In the mirror they appear to be teeth bites, though I am sure they are not.
I prefer to look at them as the world would, face front and head on; crescent moons on their backs in the sand, basking in the sun.
The jeans I wear irritate the scars on my thighs, which burn with sensation. In the bathroom I take my pants down to look at them. Touching the marks causes memory to rise up fierce and distinct. So perspicuous and intense this feeling, it is strong enough to take me back to you for a moment; even there, in the middle of my day, surrounded by strangers, in the bathroom of a restaurant. The skin around each scab is inflamed, puffy and redder than this morning, my clothing causing additional irritation. Several more hours of moving in these jeans may cause the skin to tear. Earlier today I thought there might be bleeding, I was surprised when I checked to find none.
I will wear these jeans again tomorrow, I think.
Or maybe I will wear stockings. The nylon will catch on the scabs and attach itself to any blood or discharge that might seep out of the wound. Removing the stockings will tear and damage the scabs and prolong their healing.
Yes. I will wear sheer, black stockings tomorrow...