Where You Hurt the Most

I trace them. With fingers, lips, or the strings of “your” hoodie that I “borrowed” months ago.
I remember the first time I saw them – was it June? – and I didn’t linger.
Not out of fear or repulsion, but for the sake of your privacy.
We weren’t quite there yet. There were still a lot of stones unturned. And that’s okay.
I didn’t mind it.
I didn’t need to know the story of your battle scars until you were ready.
Your artery art wasn’t my business yet.
Maybe it still isn’t.
Maybe that’s why you still shy away from me in your sleep sometimes.
Maybe that’s why you write of “tiger stripes” but tell me you still don’t feel stronger for their presence.
I run my fingers over them lightly, aching to erase them and ease your hurt.
To you, they’re reminders of your worst days.
But to me, they’re just more tally marks added to the list of reasons why I love you.
To me, they’re just another part of you to adore.
To me, they’re a symbol of strength – of a man who overcame absolute darkness and then learned how to smile again.
So let me trace them. Let me pour love into you right there where you hurt the most.

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2 thoughts on “Where You Hurt the Most

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