This scar was not my first, but it is evidence you were alive and we existed together on the day the blacktop burned through the soles of my shoes, as the wine bottle slipped from your fingers, frosted and fizzing, waiting a one-count before the blast. I lunged to pick it up for you, unaware of thermal stress, delayed reactions—
you saved my eight-year-old face with an outstretched arm but one clear meteorite collided with the flesh of my right calf, drew more blood than it should. Sometimes I consider how none of my lovers have known this scar exists and how it hurts me to remember family, to remember – out of nowhere – blood. Always more blood than we need.
And when the glass hit my skinny leg you cried. You cried because I tried to help you, then you tried to help me, and one of us still got hurt. That was always our story. I’ve carried this tiny flattened feature of my landscape over oceans, thirty years, the back and forth of trying to save each other – always missing by an inch, by a thousand miles.
By Kate Garrett.