Untitled by Reed Fowler

my story is on my body in tattoos scars compressed chest tissue and bruises

i have a band on my right forearm and a cross. there is text on my left wrist and leg, a multifaceted compass on my back, orion on my calf, and a wrench behind my ear. 

it is amazing that our lungs extend above our collarbones because how do we breathe out the knots of tension there? my bruises come and go and fade and the worst i ever had was on the outside of my left leg when i was hit with a stick play-fighting and i could feel it through denim days later and once a rooster spurred my leg and drew blood threw denim. 

there are 20 scars on my right thigh. 6 on my right arm. 67 on my right thigh. 2 on my left hand. 1 under my left pec. 1 on the outside of my right thigh. 1 on the outside of my left arm. 8 on my feet. 

i’m brushing my teeth naked after a shower and i am conflicted over the steamed-up mirror. because when it isn’t i can see my scars. i can see all of my scars, i can see all of my tattoos, i can see my piercings i can see where on my body i want to lose a curve, i can see where on my body where i love the curve, and there’s something really visceral about being able to tap your collarbone and feel that fucking vibrate throughout your skeleton. 

i want to wrestle with it right now. for some reason my fingertips are always destroyed. it is because of nerves and lighters. 

i wish i could say i am done with scars and will only be adding scars filled with ink to reclaim my body, one as soon as this month because i can taste salt in my mouth and feel my pronouns on your tongue, but there will be more scar tissue to reclaim what i was given i know i will be adding 2 t-shaped scars making my chest read like the infinite digit of pi. 

and some days i don’t find this beautiful, and so my body has locks with limited keys and i don’t know where they all are and i need to pour caustic acid to remove the rust. 

when i get injured now, i use winnie the pooh band-aids and it is like someone who loves me is trying to heal me and that loving person is myself in that moment which it wasn’t last month last year 242 days ago 14 days ago. 

when i went into the men’s bathroom it wasn’t because there was no line it was a small reclaiming sense of self that hadn’t been there at all because my binder was chafing in all the wrong places and there was this conscious pressure to present in a way that makes me seem ok and fine - i swallowed an anti-anxiety pill before leaving the house, avoiding windows and constantly pulling on the rough fabric of my shirt. 

tigger is my favorite, and my body feels like judas some days, kissing and leaving a mark.