I have a scar

under my nose

daring me

youthful me

took a flying swan dive

directly onto a pile of cans

(you see, no one told me not to)

daring me

youthful me

would leave high school

to visit the girl down the street

I would lay in her bed

under a pile of purring kittens

telling her she looked beautiful

in a messy hair bun and letterman jacket.

I would continue to do so

for five years

(no one told me not to)

I have a second scar

on my right index finger

playing with scissors

in 3rd grade art class

confusing ole’ pointy here

for construction paper

because, well, you guessed it

(no one told me not to)

older me

none-more-wiser me

would leave college

to visit an art gallery of a woman

I’d lay in her bed

watching her hair change colors

with the passing seasons

then I’d leave in the morning

(no one told me not to)

This last scar

small on my wrist

I don’t know how it got there,

how did we get so hurt

how did things go so wrong?

grown me

raised me

would run my fingers

along the many scars

of a third woman

a cheek down her forearm

my right index finger up her thigh,

she would tell me of the other men

who left their scars on her

and I’d listen and nod

then pull out a knife of my own.

(all the while screaming

pleading with myself:

not to)

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