by Celia Marsh
I cut myself when I was younger, trying to make my outsides match my insides. I slit my wrists in the bath the night that my mother told
me she’d only asked for custody so my father couldn’t have me. Slit them the right way, palm to elbow. I passed out from blood loss, but
woke when the water grew cold, pale new skin glowing beneath the dried blood, beneath the murky water. I could cut myself and watch it heal, almost before I put the knife down. Once I let the knife dig deeply while cooking dinner at my father’s house, through the bone in my
thumb. Even the nail was back by morning.
I’ve pierced my ears so many times I’ve lost count. If I sleep without earrings in they heal over before morning, and I must redo them before class, or go without earrings that day. Tattoos last longer. The colors melt back into my skin within a month, white and yellow first, blue and the black outlines last. By the time I moved back to my father’s house, the tattoo I would have gotten to annoy my mother would be all but gone. By the time I came back to her house, she would have forgotten it completely.