Saturday, June 03, 2006

Any and All Reflective Surfaces




Everything shows on my skin, bruises bloom like evil little flowers all over my legs, my arms are frequently covered with them, so much that some people mistake them for tattoos, of which I have none. I hurt myself so often and in such odd ways that I am not so silently mocked by the people who paint my nails black at the local nail salon-- You fall again? accompanied with loud, barking laughs. Domestic abuse, I suppose, being the joke we can't get enough of, the kind of cruel thing we deserve because we're so stupid, much like repeated viewings of Weekend at Bernie's because we're too lazy to change the channel. At any rate, I still like to look at my bruises, so vivid at times that they seem fake and so muted at times that they seem like shadows.

Bruises are almost my only adornment. I haven't had much else done to change my body -- my ears are pierced, twice each, the first time when I was a pre-teen. My mother took me to the mall, and I can still remember the pain and antiseptic smell and looking in any and all reflective surfaces to see the tiny gold studs that I'd have to wear for six weeks. The year my mother died, I went back to another mall with my friend Angela and had my ears pierced again and the experience was so similiar, down to the bottle of cleaning fluid that accompanied me out of the store that I was shocked that so little had changed. As we drove out into the snowy night, I kept looking at what I had done. The snow came down hard and my windshield wiper didn't work. Angela drove (she always drives, thank God!), and I kept trying to catch a glimpse of my new self in the rearview mirror, those still-burning holes in the bleak cold night.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"It seemed to her that on the tip of her tongue was something it had taken her forty years to learn, something wise or brave or beautiful that she could finally say." Larry McMurtry

Mirror, Mirror

1 part gin
1 part lemon juice
1 part lime juice

Serve over lots of ice.

Benedictions and Maledictions

Mornings Are A Disappointment

My dad returned last night, told me
he hadn’t really died, that he’d been
in Holland, but he was fine -- couldn’t
I see for myself? And I could! I forgave
everything and threw my arms around
him like a little girl. Then I remembered
my friend Hank told me he’d faked his
death. Bastard! I yelled and drew him close.
Don’t wake up, I told myself, but I did. You
have to eventually. Mornings are all weak
light, getting dressed for work ever so slowly.

6 comments:

Cheri said...

One of my favorite Plath poems is "Mirror" (which you probably know very well)

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
What ever you see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful---
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.



Michelle, I too am a bruise magnet. Recently someone asked me if I have cancer because my skin is so painfully blemished by the ugly colors. One could mistake me for a battered wife.

Paul said...

Oh Mighty One,
Sad poems again, but I understand the sentiments. I'm just happy to get up every day at this rate. Life seems like one big bruise sometimes, don't it? Rock on! And eat more bacon! Iron for allthe ladies :->

Jason said...

I gotta wicked bruise on my leg right now. I don't bruise easily at all, so when one pops up, I have to retrace my steps from the previous days, trying to remember who, what, when, where, and why I bumped into who, what, when, where, and why. I want to see a house paint sample one day that says "bruise purple".

John not a fiction writer, living in Detroit said...

My dear Catholic Michelle,

Sorry about the bruises. You look marvelous always, and you look the picture of good health. I love this shot, including the framed jet pictures in the background.
Bravo!

JR's Thumbprints said...

If I could pick the lesser of two evils I'd pick bruises over cuts (but if my doctor wants to cut away--I let him). As far as your picture: You'd look much better in a sash than I. --Jim

Jason said...

Here's that bruise I spoke of... here.