Scar Stories
Scars are proof 
we have lived, 
my friend tells me 
and smiles 
when I challenge him 
to a game of show-and-tell. 
He points to a mark,
a tiny boomerang
on his chin.
At age seven,
he thought he could fly 
from his chair
to his bed 
and landed on the floor. 
I ask him if that’s all 
he’s got.
He takes off his shirt 
and a long, jagged scar 
flashes up his arm, 
from elbow
to wrist.
He says this story 
could be called 
what he did for love.
When his first girlfriend 
broke up with him,
he punched a window. 
Then he shows me his back. 
The scars splattered 
between his shoulders,
like stars in a constellation. 
His father whipped him 
every day for years. 
He asks about my scars. 
I have only one
and I grew bangs to hide it. 
My face feels hot. 
Here’s my story:
I was seventeen.
I had chickenpox. 
I missed the prom. 
That’s all.
When I raise my hand 
to show him the scar, 
he stops me
and says,
That must have hurt.