By this time your skin has gotten rougher and
you’re trying to swallow back that bitter taste in your mouth.
Maybe now the ceases around closed fists have deepened,
from all the times you’ve held on a little too tight.
Remember callouses can only come from friction.
It will take some time, love.
You’ve lost those fangs and now
think you know what it takes to bear rings in your wood.
But only deep pain and rejection truly manifest this.
Why does this still surprise you, my darling?
Did the ache in your bones when you grew never show you?
It will be easier this way.
You’re older now and the world
is close enough to cut into your soft flesh, love.
You’ll have to be rubbed raw to become smooth again.
This is only one of many first defeats.
The boys who cut and mark you,
walk away unscathed and laughing.
Those marks that decorate your legs,
have bloomed into violets.
Please realize you’re healing, love.
Next time it might not even pierce the skin.