She has always thought that bruises are beautiful. She sees the ugliness of hatred become graceful in a bruise's fragility, spreading in a tattoo of vacillating color. When she was child, she would hide beneath a castle of cotton at night, spreading fingers across her paintings of red blue; awake until the air drew heavy with the scent of night, watching her fingerprints flash a pattern of white lights on her arms. The next morning, her eyes would drip sleep; night slipping between her eyelashes as she walked, sluggish, amidst a current of her mother's screaming. Sometimes she still catches herself tapping out a rhythm on her white moon arms, still surprised when she sees the color bloom so bright in skin so pale. Her husband does not like the bruises as much as she does. At night he whispers apologies in her ears, hands tracing I love yous down to her slender wrists. She kisses him hard, so hard his lips bleed deeper shades, for she understands how entangled love and hate can become. In the mornings, her eyes drip sleep, night slipping between her eyelashes as she walks, her young daughter gripping the edges of her skirts. And across her daughter's delicate frame, bloom paintings of red blue. She has always thought that bruises are beautiful.
September 1, 2007