Stab Wounds and Oily Fingers

Soldiers - Rank and File

I met a man of whom it could be said was more pincushion than man.
Everywhere he went he collected stab wounds in his back, like he was collecting candy trick-or-treating,
from friend to boss to family and back again.
This man was defined by pain.

He tried to hide it,
easingly wrenching a jacket on over his stab wounds for some small semblance of protection for his fragile and raw skin.

During the day time, well-intentioned friends and acquaintances approached him and greeted him,
throwing a hearty thump with their palms or fists upon his back;
draping their arms across his shoulders like an arduous concrete pipe –
their expression of love towards him.
Little did they know.
He wouldn’t let them.
At such displays of affection, his eyes welled up, biting his lip to keep from crying out,
consistently afraid of not being able to restrain himself from lashing out at them in pain.

At night he hid, seeking pain relief and a tempering of the excruciating routine he had carved out for himself.

My bleeding heart,
two-sizes too big for its cage,
lept at him like an exuberant puppy choking itself against its leash.
Those stab wounds were crying out to me to be licked.

I wanted to help him peel his jacket off, separating fabric from skin.
I wanted to hold his hand as he tightened it in agony against the onslaught.
I wanted to coo in his ear as the air got at his exposed and bloody back, the smarting sting bringing tears to his eyes.

I wanted to submerge my fingers into the stab wounds,
and have the oils off the pads of my fingertips act as a salve and agent of healing inside of him.

He calls me terrifying,
because he feels semi-ontheroadtobeing-fully known,
And doesn’t know how I will greet him – with a thump on the back or a tender application of salve and love.
You have to be exposed if you want healing salve, after all,
however painful at the time.
Hiding is safer.

He is tragically one of many.

But I will try to submerge my fingers into the stab wounds,
and have the oils off the pads of my fingertips act as a salve and agent of healing inside of him.

 

 

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