By Stefanie Haapala
Today I decided you are a blister. Arcing like the belly of a
woman, eight months along, as she looks in the mirror and
realizes, for the first time, that there is something inside.
Something she has been insulating, to sustain, the lifeline
of her body, the minute makings of a creature entirely
individual, but always a part of her flesh. You are a blister
lying raw upon my skin like eggs on the sidewalk in the
final stretch of August. Exposed and expanding and fried.
Flinching even at the touch of your father’s gentle
fingernails. Because the moment they touch you, the
moment I feel you let go, you’re going to burn. Ruby red
jewels of inferno, searing through my shell of a being.
You’re going to bubble right up and run in circus rings
down my thighs. You’re going to burn because I didn’t let
you be, I couldn’t leave you alone. I scratched and I
scraped. I wore off your silence. Because the truth is, I
want to keep you, for a little while longer. For just a little
while, as I learn to exist with my ordinary, unmarked skin.
Wood and oil paint
Lego, bubble wrap and oil paint
Photos courtesy of Jean Pearson.