by Richard Vince

There is a line of hair follicles
Hiding in plain sight on my right thigh,
Concealing a subtle ravine in the
Muscle, encoding a secret to which
I have never been privy.

There is a jagged stripe of extra paleness
Next to my right knee, a chevron of
Scar tissue that has grown with me
For as long as I can remember.

What has my skin remembered
That my brain has forgotten?
What stories are etched into my body
Rather than my mind?

All the pain that I remember
Was from wounds now healed.
Even my teenage knee that spent
Too many hours straight has
Finally ceased to ache.

It is the pain long forgotten that has
Left its mark: mysterious
External memory that forms
A visible story that I wear
But cannot read.

Along with it, I carry questions
That I dare not ask for fear
Of the answers. Perhaps I am afraid
Of what my skin could tell me of
What lies hidden beneath;
Perhaps the truth is so terrible
My memory refused to hold it.

My skin, it seems, is the most
Courageous part of me: protecting me
From the world outside but
Refusing to forget that which I have
Refused to remember.

There are lines of a story written into
My skin; one day I must be brave
And learn to read them.


Posted on 07/16/2017
Copyright © 2018 Richard Vince

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