Jennifer Ley

This pain is a story
layered, cracked
some would call it scar,
root deep down towards
that first burn, first cut.
(We were all virgins once;
we were all smooth
and whole before the knife.)

Now time heaps new folds
upon my skin
and some days like a paper plane
I soar coached by his origami hands
until the heavy fist
(Is this memory?)
comes crashing down,
crumples me like paper
and tosses me away.

I'd prefer to be ash
on those days,
I'd prefer to rise on a heated flame
and change my molecular form,
make my atoms dance.
(I bought a new dress
all fancy frills and bows
but it hangs so.)

But the story has a life
of its own, a pen clutched
in its calloused hand.
It calls from inside the wound
seeking to gain another chapter,
scratch the itch
and mend.


The 2River View, 3_1 (Fall 1998)