Poems

Today the World

Today the world will tell you about the fault in your scars. It will tell you to keep
them hidden, beneath a shirtsleeve or under the covers on a Friday evening,
when everyone else is dressed to let their skin breathe, let their youth roam
free, like paper planes and fairy wings, delicate things designed to take flight.

Today the world will tell you about the fault in your scars. It will tell you to keep
them hidden, or else it will tell you to brandish them about like swords, and if
you are brave enough to ask what you are fighting for anyway, or fighting against,
the world will tell you that perhaps you are brave enough to figure that out
on your own, too.

Today the world will tell you that your scars are a part of who you are, like your
legs and fingers and nape and chest, like that mole just below your left cheekbone
or the birthmark tucked underneath your chin. Like your eyes and hair
and spine and lungs and heart.

Today the world will tell you to take a good, hard look at your scars. Count them,
it will say, the big ones and the little ones and even the ones so faint and faded
nobody else can see them but you. Count them because you need to keep track
of how many there are, and where they’ve settled on your body. Count them
because tomorrow someone might ask you for your number, and you have to
be ready to say five or twelve or twenty two. You have to know
where each one belongs.

But someday—I don’t know when, you’ll have to be patient—the world will
tell you, enough with the scars already. Enough with things that have already
healed. Enough with things that no longer bleed. Someday the world will
tell you, hey, let’s talk about music. Let’s talk about poetry. Let’s talk
about art. Let’s talk about the things pain does other than leave scars, greater
things, hopeful things. Someday the world will hand you a fresh serving of
sadness or betrayal or disappointment or hunger or grief, along with a pen
and paper, a guitar, a paintbrush, a camera, a drum set, a microphone stand,
and you’ll know these aren’t weapons; these are tools, these are companions,
these are your new friends.

And the world—this magnificent, magical,
terrifying, looming, spectacular span
of earth and water and sky—
will look you straight in the eye and say:
“This is your hurt.
Learn to use it well.”

 

About the Contributor

Marla Miniano is the editor in chief of Candy Magazine and the author of From This Day Forward, Table for Two, and other titles under Summit Books. She loves working with young Filipinas and empowering them to be the best versions of themselves. She writes poetry atmarlaminiano.blogspot.com. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @marlamini.

See all of Marla Miniano's posts →

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