I know a boy who called his girlfriend’s body a “crime
scene.” Dad, my body is a
crime scene. My body is lint and gasoline and matchstick. My body
is a brush fire. It’s ticking, Dad, a slow alarm. I have rain
boots. Lots of them. It isn’t raining anymore. The words are
coming back, Dad. The way they fit and jump in the mouth. I want
ice cream and long letters. I want to read long love letters but I
don’t think he loves me. I think I’m used up. I think
I’m the grit under his nails, the girl who looks good in
pictures. I don’t think he loves me. I think they broke me,
Dad. I think I drink too much and it’s because they broke me.
I heard about two girls recently, two women crushed like cherries
in a boy’s jaw. It opened me, Dad. My body is melted wax, it
is ripe and stink and bent. It is a mistake. I walk like an
apology. I don’t hate men, Dad, I don’t. I want a
washing machine. I want someone else to do the dishes, someone to
walk the dog. I have a hornet in my head, Dad. A hornet.
She’s an angry woman — she hurls herself against my
skull. She stings. And stings. I know I don’t make sense,
Dad. This is the problem. I’m a sick girl, a crazy wishbone.
I have razors under my tongue. I’m sorry I cut you, Dad,
I’m so—so sorry.
I gave you a card for Father’s Day once, it said you were my
hero. You are. Your laugh is a thunderclap, you love like surgery.
I think they broke me, Dad. I can’t erase their faces. I want
to swim, Dad. Remember when I used to hopscotch? I used to make you
laugh. My feet are hot. The bottoms of my feet are scorched sand,
August asphalt. My body is a slug, a mob of sticky wet rot. No one
touches me anymore because I’m rot. Because my body is a
spill no one wants to clean up. They cracked me open, Dad, I know
you don’t want to hear about it. You don’t want to hear
how they scissored me, how they gnawed me like raw meat. No one
wants to hear how they made me drink lemon juice, how they kicked
the dog, how they upturned the furniture, no one wants to hear how
my skin turned to a dark thick of purple and black and lead. I
watch the homeless a lot, Dad. I watched a man with a cup of coins
and chips of skin carved out of his face. He had freckles. He needs
medicine, Dad. He needs to stop the hornet. My body is a hive. I am
red ants and jellyfish. A yellow sickness. My body is a used condom
in an alley in Jersey City. I don’t think he loves me, Dad.
My body is a fetus in biohazard tank. A Polaroid pinned to a
corkboard in Brooklyn. I think I’m hurt, Dad. I think I was
the tough girl for too long. My body is a wafer, a thin, soft melt
on a choir boy’s tongue.