Voice

The knife struck deep, hard, fast,
swept across my skin and
the blood spilled out
left a gaping hole
a grotesque smile
turned sideways

I slathered ointment on it
twice a day I
covered the gaping hole,
smearing until the lips came together
and sealed themselves shut
grotesque smile gone
leaving pursed lips
pressed tightly closed
wounded now scarred

New ointment to
slather over the angry lips
to fade the mark
keep the wound inside
unmarked skin
twice a day I
tried to make it disappear
and to ignore the screaming
I heard inside my head
every time I touched the
lips sealed shut
desperate to forget
determined to drown out

The screaming burst through one day
sending my fingers flying
ointment spraying the walls
joined by spatters of blood
escaping the lips opened in anguish
gaping mouth no longer smiling
lips no longer fading into compliance

A wordless scream, of terror and pain and confusion
a klaxon call demanding “hear me!”
and you couldn’t help but hear it,
screaming until it was bled dry and throat was hoarse

Until soft words became distinguishable
murmured memories
spilling from those scarred lips

I listened.

And continued to listen
twice a day I
heard its voice

Perhaps if our scars could talk
they would stop screaming.

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