Day Ten: ‘Scar Inventory’

April 10, 2017

For the interested

Right hand, 2005
Whipped by tree branch as I fell off a boat near shore into the St. Lawrence River.

Left hand, 2004
Burned by lit incense stick in my friends’ backyard.

Left index finger, 2007
Sliced with serrated knife cutting into a bread bun at my first-ever job at Tim Hortons.

Right elbow, 2006
Skidded on asphalt after falling off a golf cart in Myrtle Beach.
(With companion scars on right abdomen and right knee.)

Left knee, 1995
Cut by broken glass bottle on a playground behind my South Buffalo house.

Left knee, 2009
Gashed as I fell on a rain-slicked London sidewalk, an inch above the previous scar.

I have lived a life of so little violence
and yet here is my blood above, the wounds
I carry yet. It’s kind of like when Justin
Vernon said he wasn’t truly alone
in that Wisconsin cabin: “I had Netflix
and shit.” But all had already woven the myth
which grips better — monastic wood-living —
than the reality of wi-fi. The lines
of scars that no one sees, the flesh-colored
spots buried by hair and long invisible,
don’t total an accurate me. But together,
they make a fine conversation over beer.

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