I grew up in a house
with a band-aid covering the wounds.
My earliest memories are of an
apartment, with my mother.
But the house, with my father. I remember a
pink room, with a sloping ceiling, and
glittery lotion I keep in a drawer.
I don’t remember when or why but one day
We were all in the house again.
I do remember lipstick tubes and diamond
earrings, scattered in the bathroom.
Powdered skin, perfumed neck, leaning in to smear
a mauve smudge on my own baby cheeks.
I do remember a day at a day-care and a hill and
a plastic car and a knee gritty with pebbles and blood.
And months later my mother, cigarette in mouth,
refusing to put a new band-aid on it.
“It’s not an open wound.”
But it’s festering. I remember expensive hotels and heavy
dressy coats in New York City.
The wound had stopped bleeding, the ache had dulled.
But it’s festering
I couldn’t stop the thundering trains in my head. I couldn’t
stop the scar from staring me in the face.
I blotted out the middle school years with black pen ink in
different journals, slid under my sagging mattress.
I scratched out the summer before I began high school.
Cry it out. There is something more inside of me. There
was something more inside of me, before.
I remember boys and whispered fights across the kitchen table
just because it’s quiet doesn’t mean it is okay
and I can still smell the way the first boy smelled next to me on the
couch. And I can still remember flinching, just a little, when
he wrapped his arms around me, but melting in the end.
I remember losing the guest room to my father and writing in a thin
black notebook I think I might be going insane
And I don’t remember all of it but I know I kissed the wrong
boys at the wrong times in the wrong places, and I began to
wonder if there was ever a right time or a right boy or a right place.
Now I have been the heartbroken and the heartbreaker but I didn’t think
before that I could be both.
I know I will remember it like it was yesterday, not one thing but everything.
I know it will be true. Band-aids don’t do anything for healing.