Wearing it on the Outside

I came into life covered in my mother’s blood. She died shortly thereafter and the blood was now my own.

My father was less than nothing. He was subhuman and would have been no less awful had my mother lived, but he never raised his hand to me. All the same childhood meant bandage covered arms and a scabbed face; wounds replacing wounds. What doctors I saw could explain no better than to say it was somewhere between hemophilia and leprosy. All I knew was pain.

When my father’s meth lab exploded, I was taken from him and blood began to seep in the back of a police cruiser. Foster care and crimson stained sheets and clothes followed. Another police cruiser came after a teacher’s alarm was raised.

That’s when I came home and the bleeding stopped. They would only be called foster parents once, and Mom and Dad forever more.

The prick from the corsage pin draws no blood despite its depth and moments later Dad and I go down the aisle. For skin that could never contain pain, it holds up quite nicely against love.

View this story's 7 comments.