Tuesday, February 26, 2013


You’re proud of them, the thin red lines
tracing down your neck, chest, the back
of your hand. You show them off like
medals, scars gotten from the thick of
battle. I don’t realize how I stare until you
pull your collar back up, turn away to show
someone else. Now when I close my eyes,
those scarlet lines are all I see. How she
claws at you like a cat. Draws battlefields
on your skin. Draws blood. It is a taking
over. A claiming. What do I have of you
but little pieces of your laughter, a word,
a glance, a touch on the back of my neck?
All fit easily away, folded up like a secret
note, a grenade under the tongue. Her
name is gunpowder in my mouth.
—Kristina Haynes, “Scratches”