Some people playback memories like a DVD.
Click. Rewind. Fastforward. Stop.
Instead I look at my skin,
dark brown scars and spots on cafe au lait.
Dermatologists call it "hyperpigmentation,"
a condition one-step above sensitive,
yet still durable and strong.
It's my road map,
a constant reminder of where life can go.
My inside arms still faintly show
the allergy shots I got at 5.
Kicking, crying, and screaming
while the nurse held me down.
The doctor stuck me with a big needle
over and over.
My legs are covered with mosquito bites from
childhood vacations spent in
Missouri, Mississippi, Disney World . . . .
Memories marred by itchy reminders.
Scratches from my cats and dog,
scrapes from rough edges
of tables and protruding objects-
like everyone else.
But mine put up stakes and stay,
a freak show exhibit,
or Hester Prynne with her Scarlet A.
Growing up I would imagine hearing,
"STEP UP AND SEE THE
AMAZING SPOTTED LADY!!!!"
Instead it was-
"WHAT'S WITH THE SPOTS ON YOUR LEGS???!!!"
Then all turned eyes on me:
I was marked.
Too bad I can't charge admission.
On my right thumb there are two raised scars,
a glass cut at the age of eleven and
a reminder of how I stabbed myself with a hypo two years ago
in a vain attempt to save my cat's life.
I have finally accepted my fate.
"HERE THEY ARE.
STEP RIGHT UP!"
All scars lead to me.
Watch me grow into my skin.