China Doll

“China Doll”- 1-14-14

Maybe I should switch to around the calendar
long sleeve sweaters and only ever
make love in the dark
because every lover has turned away
when they’ve seen the scars-
the tangible ones- on my legs and arms
caused by a careless blade and a self-loathing hand-
and the ones out of sight but there
like phantom limbs
or ghosts creaking the floorboards
when you know you are alone at night-

every inch of me is covered with
red, barely-healed
and anger
and regret
and fear-
every inch of me is covered in his name
and the memory of him telling me he would never
speak to me again if I ever took to
cutting myself open-
but he had already tossed me away
and he was where I learned the habit anyway-

and then last one wrinkled his brow and said,
“It doesn’t look like nothing”
then never looked at me the same again-
like a china doll made less valuable by
a face crumpled and reglued
like my brokenness put me in the clearance bin
like a house with cracks in the foundations
and he wouldn’t be able to live with the idea
that with all my weaknesses
I might collapse under his feet.



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