See this mark here?
Right here on my hairline?
That’s where I scratched and scratched
(the itch so itchy, and me without restraint)
Chickenpox as a child, scratching till it scabbed and bled and fell off
And left a scar.
And these two freckles, see how they match?
Right here in the crook of my elbow?
My mother says I went to sleep as a baby,
my arm curled up under me.
Before, just one freckle, but afterwards two.
As if my paint was still new and wet and it transferred.
See these lines, at my eyes my mouth?
Those the marks of three and half decades
Laughing and crying and smiling and play
and worry and fretting and loving and hurt.
See these marks on my belly?
Like fire, silver, tigerclaws across my skin?
Those the marks of life growing in me,
pain and labour and screaming
and the small hearty wail of a newborn
all mine, all his,
grown inside me.
See this here on my ankle?
This where a spike on a bike pedal
gored me, a small thin trickle of blood
running down my ankle,
and me crying,
and my mother putting a plaster and love on it.