I could describe them.
Their general vicinity, their severity,
and little of their history.
Try to get you to fall prematurely
in love with every cure that hasn’t killed me.
I’ve run my hands across the traces of former injuries,
caressed the raised marks of tissue over-proliferation,
and fingered the depth of each recession
like a new lover might.
Is it even possible to soften the blow to your mind?
If only to prolong the possible inevitabilities,
I could just keep quiet,
turn off the lights,
and hope you proceed without noticing anything
that feels especially unsightly.
But, I can’t help imagining your hand
stuttering across my stomach,
backing-up and making a second pass
as if to say ‘Wait! What the hell was that?’
I’m not sure how to prepare your mind’s eye
for all the hypertrophic sculpture
and the atrophic blueprints of neglect.
Un-planned, un-plotted, wannabe tattoos
from growth spurts, submarine rocks, forked tongues,
pregnant pauses, and numerous hard-on collisions
with one poorly-positioned nightstand.
I have no one to blame.
All were made possible by my errors in judgment;
wandering in the dark,
moving too fast,
braking too hard,
asking the wrong questions
or just plain not paying enough attention.
They are each reminders of the near misses —
all those end over end bicycle stunts.
All the times I’ve survived well enough to walk away.
I try not to refer to all of my damages
as permanent, since some will fade with time.
Yet, they amount to pretty much the same thing — proof
that I can endure a certain amount of brutality.
As a survivor standing in your point blank range,
I can only hope the scars have prepared me for you.