Road Map

Devona Mallery

 


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.

Click.
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.

Rewind.
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.

Fastforward.
I have finally accepted my fate.
"HERE THEY ARE.
STEP RIGHT UP!"
Dunduhdadadadunduhdadada
All scars lead to me.
Watch me grow into my skin.

Stop!

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790