Scar Tissue

In one of those awkward silences, I said,
Okay, random question: what’s that scar from?
He held his breath and tried to laugh it off,
said, That’s your random question?  I played like
I didn’t care, no pressure, if he didn’t want to talk,
I wouldn’t make him.  But his hesitation
intrigued me that much more.  Weeks later,
I had a bad day.  I wanted to break things,
shatter my fist on a wall, slit my skin like a potato
before it goes in the oven.  I drank to drown
my frustrations.  He said he understood, and I told him
he didn’t have to say that; I knew guys
didn’t cut like girls.  So he told me about a night,
one just before he got kicked out of the military,
on every drug I’d ever heard of, numbing depression
with oblivion.  He stood naked in front of a mirror,
a rusted steak knife in hand, and decided
to cut his heart out. He tried, dug deep,
sawed against his ribs with the serrated blade.
But he gave up, woke up with a bloody sheet
caked against his chest.  He told me, That’s
where the scar is from.  I kept drinking to forget.

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