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Flaws (Samuel Jones- Bastrop, LA)

"You're too young to have these. . ."
My doctor would always say
As he observed the varicose veins
That seemed to bulge back at him in defiance.

I flicked my eyes at him internally,
Because I loved and respected him so much,
But he never would directly answer my question of,
" How can I get rid of these?"

I wanted my legs to be perfect again.
Once flawless,
My dog slashed them up, overly excited to see me.
And now this.

This initiated a cascade of discoveries
Activated by subconscious self-scrutiny:
Stretch marks, lumps, bumps, calluses,
Things too big, things too small. . .

I felt like a landfill:
A hodgepodge of things that weren't meant to be together,
Yet found themselves at the wrong place, at the wrong time
Anyway.

I felt like trash.
It all hit me at once,
And I felt like trash.
But then, I received the urge to look into my eyes.

"Who is that staring back at me
With so much compassion in his eyes?"
Surely not my body.
The eyes themselves did belong to it, but the compassion. . .

That was mine.
That mixture of passion and love
Was who I really was, who I really am--
Not my body.

Since then, I hardly even think about my varicose veins anymore. Bulge away. . .


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