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  • e. gómez

Keloid Self


CONTENT WARNING: child sexual abuse


I.

The toughest years are behind you,

said the palm reader with

the graying Manchurian mustache

who finishes interpreting

my life―past and present.


At nightfall I sit with a cup of brewed tea.

I am the observer of

a five-year old child

being broken over nights

by the man who

called me, “granddaughter.”


On nights he babysat,

while others slept,

he slipped beneath my blankets.

His thick calloused hand

probed my undeveloped body,

and forced mine

to bring him pleasure.


II.

By the time the tea is cold,

I gather up all that I was

and now am.


Before a full-length mirror

I see my body naked.

Thick scar tissues

create worm-like mounds

from wounds inflicted

and others self-inflicted.


These jagged keloids of browns,

purples, pinks

whether of the mind or real

zigzag across my abdomen, breasts,

thighs and pelvis


I now claim as the art of my own healing.



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