Living Words – A Poem

I woke one1660258386_f8ed1a472e_b1

morning with words

etched into my

skin. I tried to

read them in

mirror, but the

writing was backwards.

My friends noticed

the words and

asked why I

had tattooed myself

with just a

fraction of a

sentence. I woke

the next morning

to find the

words had doubled

on my skin,

snaking down the

inside of my

arm. I went

to the doctors

and they asked

why I had

marked myself with

words. They didn’t

understand when I

told them the

words had just

appeared there on

their own. They

sent me home

with a mild

sedative. When I

woke on the

third morning, I

found that both

my arms were

now covered in

looping black words.

I tried to

read them, attempted

to make sense

of what they

said, but I

could not see

all of the

words. Looking in

the mirror, I

saw they had

started to appear

along the back

of my neck.

My mother was

the one who

explained it to

me. She read

the words, running

her fingers along

some of them,

turning my arms

in order to

read others. She

looked at me.

“Don’t you recognize this?”

I shook my head

no. I shrugged.

“I haven’t been able to see all of them to read them. What does it say?”

“You should know. You wrote them.”

I was shocked.

“What do you mean?”

She pointed to

the words that

ran along the

inside of my

arm, then ran

her fingers along.

“As the cards flew from my grasp, I knew I had made the right decision. I was the Broken Man no longer.”

She paused for

breath, and to

point to another

set of words.

“And this here? These say: I had let a piece of my past go and looked forward to what the future would bring.”

I shook my head,

not knowing what

to say. My

mother took my

hands and held

them in hers.

“Your life is a living poem. A wonderful, exciting, awesome living poem.”

I wondered at

her words, at

what they meant.

What the words

on my skin

meant. She could

see my confusion.

“You put so much of yourself in your words, it is only natural that they will mark you even as you mark the page. Do not be afraid of them.”

“How do I get the words out of my skin?”

She looked at

me with a

half smile and

that wise look

she got in

her eyes, deep

and somehow comforting.

“Write. More words will come and you will always be marked by them, but you are a living poem. It has always been this way.”

I nodded and

pulled a piece

of paper towards

me. I put my

hand down on

the paper and

watched as the words

on my skin

began to slip

and slide off

of it. I

looked at the

page to see

what they had

to say.

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