they cover theirs in layers of rings, rings beneath the surface
of moss-addled bark and life-giving roots
Havisham wore hers over her shoulders in moth-eaten lace,
patterns and holes tearing their way across her body
yours is here somewhere
is it hidden in the crevices
above your brow?
or buried with a silicon-wielding shovel?
is it tucked into the worn pockets of your old
or stretched into the neckline of an ex-lover’s shirt?
is it poking through your scalp
in grey clumps?
or have you choked it with ammonia?
is it molding in the shoebox under
or gathering dust on the top shelf?
is it pressing against your flesh
in faded purple bruises?
or squeezing your back in an embrace?
is it drowned in the tears
of bloodshot eyes?
or does it cut like razor blades on the tip of your tongue?
is it carved in thick ink
across pliant skin?
or written in the feathered edges of your moleskin notebook?
is it coloring your present
in black and white?
or painting your future in a rainbow of shades?
yours is clawing to be free
of ever-recalled memories, of never-forgotten heartbreak
that’ll bury you, bury us
– M. Ray Hall