The Lights All Shining


If you hold your head just right, tilted like that. You could see through my cracks. All the tiny slivers of light that are shining beneath my clothes. All the kinks in my armor.

Here, on my side, jut beneath the last rib, go on count them down, is for my first love. It’s the one I’ve had the longest, the one that started out painful but I grew to love. That dull ache that reminds me what neon is, even if it’s just throbbing beneath all this beige.

There, between my toes, those tiny marks? Those are for all the users and abusers. The skeleton-people with their blacked-out eyes. The people of the night that crawled into my bed uninvited. Leaving shreds of rotten skin behind. I don’t want them, but I carry them with me, too. I walk on their image every day.

Over here, I know, it’s big, don’t worry it doesn’t hurt anymore, much. This long arc on my chest? Feel that? It’s still warm. You can feel my heart beating beneath it. If you squint your eyes you can make out that pumping organ, you could probably reach it, even, if you wanted to. But, don’t.

I don’t think I’ve got it in me to patch up another tear.

That one is for him. And for me. Mostly for me. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t worry it a little. It’s habit now, pulling at the edges, just to see if it still hurts.

Why don’t I just leave it be?

I don’t know. You’re right. It doesn’t make much sense. But, it was love, and it scarred me. He gave me this wound and I can’t stop touching it, sinking my fingers in, because he gave it to me and I guess it’s all I have left.

I’m tired of this game, hand me my robe.


What do you mean the ones on my back?

Oh, so there is. Long thin lines, you’re right.

No. I don’t know. I didn’t even know I had those.

Beautiful? Really? I guess, maybe. Like a torn landscape.

Or a broken city, all lit up, still struggling to shine.

Yeah. Maybe.

I like that.



10 Comments Add yours

  1. Lauren says:

    You have such a wonderful way with words!

  2. Hannah Miet says:

    You are a wondrous creature, Lindsay.

  3. Iona says:

    Beautiful, as always.
    You often attach music to your posts. I like that – it gives a soundtrack to the emotions. This time you didn’t, leaving the words to create their own soundtrack. I like that too.

    I found myself humming Serena Ryder’s “Little Bit of Red” at the end… after your taunting and teasing, “c’mere”. Her colours and your lights are both vulnerable and defiant.

  4. Oh, that was perfect. I need to point someone over here…

  5. She Was. says:

    There are so many lovely phrases here. My favourite – ‘like a torn landscape’.

    I can’t tell you how much I identify with the feelings you paint.

  6. Will says:

    Isn’t it strange that we pick at scabs, stroke our scars; like our memory wants to retain the pain but our bodies want to scratch it out, inexorably reopening the hole in the tapestry of your mind.

  7. Mr. Apron says:

    I’m glad I don’t look at myself naked in the mirror. I’m afraid I would see something like this.

  8. Stephen K says:

    Are they tattoos as well?

    I like the optimistic note at the end: maybe the perception changes everything. They’re not scars, they’re trophies. They’re not war wounds, they’re souvenirs. Loved this.

  9. Lindsay says:

    Lauren: Thank you! I’m always overjoyed when bloggers I love from afar compliment me.

    Hannah: A creature, for sure. I’m not sure how wondrous.

    Iona: I’m actually considering taking away the music portion of the posts because I wasn’t sure if anyone saw it that way, but it was how the music was intended, as a companion to the piece.

    And thanks, I’ll have to check out that song.

    PoF: And who might that be?

    She Was: Right back at you.

    Will: Beautiful. Even your comments are beautiful. It’s almost like paying tribute. The pain is necessary to do the memory justice, maybe.

    Mr. Apron: I don’t think there’s anything ugly about scars.

    Stephen: Yes! Exactly. It’s all about perception.

    Thoughtsappear: Thank you!

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