I just burnt my hand, a real burning where you jerk your whole arm back and suck in your breath through your teeth in what’s almost a hiss, on steam from the electric kettle that was boiling in an effort to brew a cup of tea, to have something warm and sweet to hold on to because maybe that will stop my heart from pounding like it’s trying to break its way out of these ragtag bones, hammering like fingers shooting across keys, sharp clicks of words fired across the page like bullets, like heels clack-clicking across the library lobby floor, it’s my heart, it can’t be healthy, won’t it please
My hands have been abused this quarter, this year. I can’t remember how many times I’ve burnt them, patches of skin turning red and shiny and raw, not prepared for movement or usage or touch. Maybe it’s a forgetfulness, a clumsiness, an immaturity. Maybe it’s something I’ll grow out of (yes, please! my fingers beg and plead). Maybe it’s a developing of scars, calluses, skin impervious to burns in the future. But that’s not how skin works. That’s not how life works.
Because, you see, we heal. We have this tendency, after years and journals filled and conversations had and tears and screaming so loudly you’re pretty sure you ripped your vocal chords and anger and revenge-seeking and prayer or deep thoughts or whatever you want to call it, after all of these things, we heal. Not the same person, not back to the way you were before, changed and transformed and wiser and (maybe) a bit more cautious, we are whole. And we reach out again to see if the water is ready.
Be careful? Please.