Monday, January 11, 2010

In This Skin: A Reclamation

I have a story to tell, silently and without words: 
'Tis a map laid bare
past drapes of fabric
and layers of armour
and bandages.
Can I trust you
to see past the curves and twists and turns,
the zigzags and crisscrosses invisible
but defining?
Beneath both smooth, unblemished surface
and raised, jagged scar tissue,
dark shadows and fiery bursts of colours mark my skin.
Tattooes etched by
nameless and faceless
artists' hands bring into being
what I cannot say:
This imperfect body is far from beautiful,
but there can be beauty in ugliness
so long as you listen to the story it has to tell.

I am a survivor.

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We must never permit the voice of humanity
within us to be silenced. It is Man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him a Man.

--Albert Schweitzer

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

--Viktor E. Frankl