If you were to take a close inventory of my body,
it is very likely that you would find the cut on my right ear.
Shallow, only about an inch in length, partially hidden –
you’d probably pass right over it to focus on some other, more obvious flaw.
But would you pause for more than a moment if you knew
that the cut on my right ear has been there for over three years?
Each time it scabs over and threatens to heal I pick and I pick
until the scab rips free and once again I have reduced it to raw and bloody.
For over three years I have continually picked at the scab on my ear,
unyielding, not allowing nature to take its course
and simply heal one small fucking cut.
And, surprise, that’s pretty much exactly
the way I “deal” with my other cuts.
The ones that an outward inventory wouldn’t account for,
the bruises and contusions and cuts left by others that I refuse to let heal.
Three years, three different lovers, three different sets of wounds.
They say time heals all things but what about when you refuse to let time do its job.
They don’t tell you that when you continually pick and overanalyze and relive,
nothing heals, new protective skin never forms over flesh that continually rip back open.
And I haven’t found a way to stop. Anxiety, stress, boredom –
all will cause my right hand to creep up towards the side of my head,
tensing in anticipation of the pain that I am all but powerless to stop.
But you see, now there’s this boy.
Don’t give me that look, I know, I know that it is up to me to heal,
that I need to be able to rely on myself
and not find my comfort in another person. But this boy.
When he sees my hand go anywhere near my right ear, he grabs it,
and he holds it, and he doesn’t let go until the urge passes.
And he bought me band aids. With sesame street characters on them.
And he notices the days when it looks better.
And recently, the sweet reminders have become more frequent.
A boy cannot heal my wounds.
But this one.
This one is teaching me how to allow them to heal on their own.