David Stephenson: “Scar Tissue”




They can be beautiful as deserts are,
the little sand-like bands and swirls of skin
encircling the dead heart of a scar,
the patched-up surface where a wound had been.

Run your finger over it. Do you
recall the underlying injury,
or have the details long diffused into
the footnotes of your sprawling history

of small-scale trauma? It’s best to forget
the cuts and bruises that no longer hurt
and turn attention to the current set
of jagged edges that you’re trying to skirt,

knowing as you face the next ordeal
that all your scars are proof that you can heal.



Poems by David Stephenson have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in Blue Unicorn, The Lyric, Avatar Review, and Tar River Poetry. His collection, Rhythm and Blues, won the 2007 Richard Wilbur Award, and a new volume, Wall of Sound, was published by Kelsay Books. Stephenson is also the editor of Pulsebeat Poetry Journal.

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