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  • Jessica Lee McMillan

The Body Is a Blackout Poem




Bandaids are my tales of chaos on playgrounds, the dermal terrain of nicks and scratches donned in battle with objects I collide, a proverbial Taurus


Defying the boundary of skin goes back to riding a bike, half naked, and breaking in shit-kickers ‘cross town with no plasters to hinge blisters


Foolish maybe, but some bandages tell of: the suppleness of the skin from a life-affirming jump or the rescue of a clawed friend or the birth of a child, or a chapped finger — pen attempting leaps on page


Wounds are unsightly words  — they ooze and weep —  but they remodel, grow potent  — having leapt and healed —  they are the script that survives


My body is a blackout poem of entry and exit wounds  — life’s punctures, clothed —  around bandaids, resilient skin, a living legacy


The dubiously-hued flag on my index finger screams no surrender, for I have the lasting kiss of second skin that separates me from gangrene ancestors; it keeps me bashing through life, too precious to be delicate


Jessica Lee McMillan © 2021

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