Written by Clare Grey
“…but now these stories are just faded, / dull reminders of the person i once was, / just scratched-out notes on the margins”
***TW: self-harm, needles, medical talk***
every two weeks i stab myself in the leg. nothing malicious or anything of that kind, just a small prick into the muscle flanking the femur to keep my life aligned. it’s always the same order of things: swab, stab, take, stab, give, clean, a process that has become almost mechanical, a perpetual routine. it’s not much, just something to keep the humours under control as time passes me by until a battered heart becomes, after too long, whole. i’ve stabbed myself for many occasions: stability, chauvinism, a mishap dicing, a silent yell. my hands and knees hold the marks of a childhood spent all too well. but my arms and legs? they hold novels and memoirs of a past riddled with countless stories of a life whose tales are too numerous and vast to turn into some trite novel or scene splayed out on a canvas for the masses to view. no, that story can only be unraveled piece by tiny piece as the truths just slowly accrue, the threads of which continue to sew their way into the present, a plot yet unfolding and unknown, like those ancient sisters pulling the thread of fate taut. but now these stories are just faded, dull reminders of the person i once was, just scratched-out notes on the margins of life, not even something worth giving pause. i stab myself now not out of fear or hatred of the person i am not, but instead out of hope and care for who i will be, no longer being unknowing or misled. and it may be that the poetic senses ingrained on my soul always find a theme, but i stabbed myself in the past to escape the present, and now stab in the present for a future dream.