Paintbrush: a Surgical Tool
The tenuous threads of veins that hold me to myself--to that pulsing lump caught up in my chest--tempt me to cut myself away and watch the white of my dress become vibrant with red. The stain itself my last self-portrait in miniature. Ha! How the Americans would then have something to gawk at.
Let me slip from this tumble of bones, these weighty sheets, this broken heap of a self.
How Diego would then wrack his huge frame with ugly mourning. Would he stumble into the waiting, outstretched arms of Cristina, my sister, with her rounded cheeks and lush womb? Who could give him everything that I never could? Or maybe he would cast her off as the lump of his own infidelity grew thick in his throat and held him down like a paperweight.
Diego. My Frogface. My child, my lover, my universe, my second accident. Diego, who calls me tender. Diego, who calls me acid. Diego, who tears up when Picasso praises me, who is gentle with my scarred skin after the surgeons have finished gashing their way through my body, who tucks me in and then creeps from the room to crawl into the heavy sheets of my sister. I like to peep out from behind the broadness of him, from behind that thick torso and sturdy frame. I like the power of his body in proximity. If I keep him close enough, I can imagine the strength and mobility of his body my own to wield. I slide from this gliding chair and into him. My other self. My other tormentor.
I paint myself out of my body. I paint myself whole, fragmented, in a boy’s leather coat and pants like how I used to wear myself when I was young and strong—before the accident. I was going to go into medicine, you know. I was never going to be that gashed thing on the bed. I paint myself in the bright Tehuana dresses with the sweeping skirts that hide my leg. I paint myself swirling storm clouds, and I paint myself Mexico. If I am to be a physical thing, let me be this reviving nation, vivid in the youth if its determination and power and revolt.
Let me use myself as a vessel for communicating the full truth of a life. For pain. For loving.
Let them know that this scared self has a voice.
Sophia Thimmes can often be seen hiking in the woods, munching on vegan carb-based foods, and becoming overly enthused by fat snowflakes falling in her small Utah hometown. She has taught youth theatre, volunteered as an English tutor for children, participated in poetry slams where she has won first prize and performed as an MC, hosted seminars on spoken word poetry, and performed speeches on spoken word poetry at national conferences. She has a thing for stories.
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