A catalogue of my body’s scars (to date)

A catalogue of my body’s scars (to date)

i stand before you thick
with curves, bafflement
and scar tissue

the extra tag on my left lobe
could constitute a scar
my reminder of a body poorly formed
a mistimed stir of pipette when i was in vitro

in my forehead, when i wrinkle my brow
something i do with increasing frequency
a small oval the size of my little fingertip
from falling down stairs aged three

on my nose
a divot on the right side
where there was once a nostril piercing

in the inner-most crevice of my right ear
a daith piercing that closed up
after my first mri

and finally on our list of piercings past 
a dot of white that shows when pressure
is applied from behind by a fidgeting tongue
highlighting a three week period
when i had a lip piercing

to the arms then
a small patch of pink, brain-shaped
from my girlfriend’s fingernail
we were fifteen, she grabbed my wrist
but aimed poorly

inch-long lines nearly faded now
wounds inflicted by spiral binding
at the start of semesters gone by
bookselling is a contact profession

small depressions in the crook of each arm
especially the right
on the far edge
above the small but reliable vein
so often tapped

my abdomen is a battleground
however soft and pillowy
uppermost is the top of the zip
the fifteen centimetres or so
of laparotomy
cleanly sliced and mutated with time
passing through or by the navel
sometimes it can be hard to tell

flanked by the smaller incisions
laparoscopies and drains
removing that which could
take me down

the torso’s other must-see feature
a former stoma, lower left
an enormous off-centre bellybutton
sometimes it itches
perhaps i’m some kind of ibd harry potter

down the legs then, little spots of scabs
where various heights of doc martens have rubbed

a railway line almost faded and gone
twig versus dermis
while in pursuit of runaway kitten

left heel, the site of slightly discoloured skin
where a cluster of warts once formed
disappearing of their own accord

the bottom right of my body
curving around the inner edge of the foot
up the ankle, 26 stitches of lurid incision
and a sororal twin
on the other side
from just above the ankle bone

a testament to being built and rebuilt
between ivf
bowel resections
and ankle repair
like the cyborg i am

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