Furrow | Teen Ink

Furrow MAG

January 17, 2014
By Sabrina Ortega-Riek BRONZE, Flagstaff, Arizona
Sabrina Ortega-Riek BRONZE, Flagstaff, Arizona
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Bruises she left on the insides of my thighs:
Like postage stamps, like Girl Scout badges, like wax seals on envelopes, like stickers on Granny Smith apples
She told me,
In the dark, on a blanket spread on the floor,
That she had waited three years to tell anyone that she was sick
That she was dying
And that
If she had told someone sooner
They would have been able to do something.
It’s not your fault. Don’t ever, ever think it’s your fault.

I can see your spine through the skin of your back:
Like cat-eye marbles rolling on the blacktop, like pistachios in a plastic bag, like dice clicking across the Monopoly board
She told me
In her room, at dusk, with her arms tight around my waist
That sometimes she would be so tired that she would hear things
Sounds, voices,
Buzzing in a chaotic fog
In her hospital room, at night
And I remembered when
I heard the same noises in my head.

Furrows in flesh:
Like the sidewalk stuttering against a crack, like chalk scraping on concrete, like heat shimmering restlessly over the highway
She told me
Through the heavy afternoon, without our shirts on
That she hated the rough seams on her
And looked for marks on my body:
My cheek, my shin, the crook of my elbow.
I could only say
That I loved the scars, because they are a part of her
And spell stories more powerful than any poetry I’ve read.

You wouldn’t have wanted to know me when I was in the hospital:
Like a man who has never blinked, like a moth with cuts on its wings, like a
skeleton made of stacks of buttons
She told me
On her bed with the window open; the
dogwood trees shedding white petals
That she thought she was going to die when she was nine years old
Some days
She wishes she had
And I told her that I knew what it felt like
to wish
Not for death
But to never have existed.

Color beneath skin:
Like azure canals cutting beige desert, like twilight over a soccer field, like beer bottle caps, like soft-edged sea glass
She told me
Wrapped in a woolen blanket at three in the morning
That she hated herself, because it was all
her fault
Because no one ever told her
She was anything but a disappointment

And I recalled what it felt like
To never be able to separate
From the person who repulsed me the most.

Pressure lingering on my mouth:
Like swollen skin, like being half-awake, like a typewritten letter, like soft fog
hanging over redbrick buildings
I told her
With my forehead against hers, with my
fingernails in her arm
I wish you saw yourself the way I see you
Like someone
Unlike anyone I’ve seen before
Like the strongest person I’ve ever met
Like someone who keeps going
No matter how many times she is told to stop.

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This article has 2 comments.

Blynn SILVER said...
on Feb. 6 2014 at 11:50 pm
Blynn SILVER, Waco, Texas
9 articles 0 photos 97 comments
Love this. Such a beautiful piece. Great job

on Jan. 18 2014 at 1:03 pm
BurrThistle GOLD, Jaipur, Other
10 articles 0 photos 161 comments

Favorite Quote:
Write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect

This was just amazing....pulled me in from the first sentence and left me haunted in the night.The imagery and the depth of the emotion were wonderful. Congratulations on being published. you deserved it ! Keep Writing :)