Regular Poem: I keep forgetting

2 Feb

I keep forgetting–

I keep thinking–
erroneously–
people are staring at me
to stare–
because I’m beautiful or
alluring or
repulsive even.

But I am none
of those things, or
no more than
I am those things
on any
other
day.

A coworker I don’t usually work with says, belatedly aggressively pointing to his own neck with his fingers,
“You should control your man, girl,”
and my niece says, fingers gingerly tracing her own neck, eyes wide, with her r-less speech impediment,
“What happened to youw neck?”

But
a gas station attendant or
a hipster across the aisle at the burger place
can’t–or won’t–be direct like a trashy dude full of innuendo or a 7 year old full of curiosity.
They will stare, and
I will have forgotten, and
I will think I look especially good or bad, but
I don’t.

Rather,
I have joined the ranks of
the marked–
the mysterious,
the intriguing,
the forbidden.

When I remember–
suddenly–
when I realize their eyes
have been upon
my neck, not my decolletage,
my neck, not my eyes
my neck, not my hair,
my neck, not my body,
my neck, not my clothes,

I wonder at their wondering, and
I wonder how exponentially
their wondering and my wondering
might grow
if
I had a toe for a thumb or
a burn-scarred face or
a leg made of some strong polymer rather than flesh.

Maybe someday I shall know.
But
for now
I have only
a scratch–
gruesome though it is–
on my neck and
about me a scent

of the grotesque.

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One Response to “Regular Poem: I keep forgetting”

  1. Growl 5 February 2013 at 8:39 AM #

    People probably just think you are a domestic violence victim or that you train birds for a living…. Or maybe they just think you had a bad itch in the night…. 😉
    Either way… I would have to say wounds are puzzling/disturbing because of the what they potentially symbolize which evokes fear and curiosity when there is no explanation. So people either stare and wonder or ask based in fear driven curiosity. When someone hears about a flesh eating virus, they want to know two things: 1. Extent of the damage and 2. Assurance that it is so rare that they can dismiss it from their worry banks for their own body. Survival instinct influencing social morays? Ha, eat your heart out psychology class! 😉

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