When I went mad
it was my hands who suffered the most.
I would wash them
sometimes twice
three times
sometimes after putting on my shoes
when the dirty laces touched the pads of my fingers.
After I was clean
I couldn’t touch
the faucet with my bare hands. I couldn’t
The water bill went up while
I thought of ways to turn it off
(I think mother suspected then.)
I’d rub my hands red
until blue veins burst
I’d watch the caverns in my skin
fill with blood.
Sometimes I am transfixed by my hands
can think of nothing else
I pick at my cuticles
twisting the skin between my finger tips
and ripping
flakes of dead skin fall like snow.
There is a scar on my left hand
where a mole once lived
until one day my mother insisted it be removed
not wanting me to be imperfect
A woman cut into me
I couldn’t feel it at all
I sometimes feel
that the scar is more ugly and astonishing
than the mole. My mother apologized
she said “It was a mistake”.