Monthly Archives: November 2013

Hospital Arms

Hospital arms are pale.

Five days of the sun not kissing that skin does much.

And yet these hospital arms are still a variety of colors.

There are a smattering of purple-black bruises. And some even faded to the sickly green-yellow of age.

Most hover on the inside of this girl’s elbow

Someone who was unfamiliar with the way lab tests and IVs affect this girl would ask upsetting questions regarding illicit drug use.

They would hiss heroin.

There is the red of stress and the red of fresh pricks that sapped the girl’s life blood.
They need so many vials for tests that never show any results.

Though the tape they use to staunch the pricks doesn’t remain long, the sticky grey glue residue remains for days.

Standard soap does not help.

It is only when the girl scratches and claws at her skin desperately that stringy gray webs of the glue lift from her skin.

Five days in a hospital and these arms are covered in the evidence and signs of all that has been done to try and determine any solution.

To no avail.

There are no answers. Only ideas. Only theories. All of them whiplashes of terror-words.

Lacunar infarct

MRIs and CT scans fly by and dance about but provide nothing magical.

And no surgery in sight. The idea of surgery is clamped down hard and fast. This girl is not a candidate for surgery. She is not normal. Surgery will kill her.

Yet they also say no surgery may kill her.

This girl distantly wonders what would happen if she just stopped taking the piles upon piles of meds the doctors say are barely keeping her from stroke or heart attack.

Her hospital arms tremble. They are tired. They not longer desire to push or carry or pull or reach or lift.

They are hospital arms only.

They will never be healthy arms again.


Victim of Vulnerability

I am the victim of vulnerability.

Co-dependency crippled me all those years ago.  I carry a scar so long, so deep that I can feel the rippling skin tightening without thought.  So calloused and yet paper-thin.

It’s hard to move forward with such a scar.  But I try.

And recently, I’ve managed to build this rickety relationship with someone who cares; but like a birdhouse made in a high school shop class, it doesn’t show much proficiency.  It sort of leans to one side and the pieces don’t quite match.

But somehow it manages to keep the rain off the birds’ feathers when it storms.

Despite this precarious creation and it’s deepening intimacy, I find myself unable to say what I think is expected.

It’s like dirt in the throat.

Sand in the mouth.

Broken glass along the tongue.

That fear bubbles up and locks my tongue so neatly whenever I have that moment.  And the moment happens more and more. It’s almost casual now.

When he’ll go out of his way to check on me when I’ve been my quiet, reclusive self.

When he knows what joke to make to get me to smile.

When runs his fingers through my hair in that slow, gentle way I like.

When he makes sure he can be there during my upcoming surgery.

I lov-

I want to say it.  I do.  But that fear, that victim mindset leaps to attention.
It hisses-snarls-screams at me…

Do not give him that power.

No one ever deserves that knowledge, that ability to damage you so completely.  No one does ever again.

Remember what happened last time.

The one time I tried handing my heart over.  I tried full, unconditional trust.

Unconditional trust is overrated.

Unconditional trust is what turned me into the victim.

Conditions are safe.

I stare at that birdhouse I’ve created, and part of me wants so badly to sand it, varnish it, paint it.  Make it something of beauty that will last a long time.

But that victim-voice reminds me that it will only make the pain sharper when the birdhouse finally does crumble.

And it will crumble.