I always liked guys with bullets under their skin and shot off legs
guys like Mac 10 and Marcus Law
these guys had war stories
and knew how to look a girl in the eye
like they would leave you with some
of your own.
Here is a partial list of my scars
the ones you can see
the ones you can’t are far more incapacitating,
When I was one,
a Newfoundland named Oaf almost killed me
I pulled her ear while she was eating
my face disappeared between her jaws
my mother’s scream her beautiful baby deformed
but somehow I was left with only a hair-thin-line across my nose
and the dog remained my friend like her super cool hippie chick owner
who wore cut off jeans so short you could see her pubic hair
and always took time to play with us kids.
I pedaled my first bike, a blue and white Pony down hill fast as I could
hit a rut full of gravel and went down
grating my knee like hamburger with sharp stones
limped home to show mom a gaping hole in my jeans
and the ugly brown stain I still carry.
Got my first stitches cleaning a kerosene lamp chimney
spinning in soapy water the glass bit into the meat of my hand.
We lived like that, only flame to light our way.
On my forearm a small oval
from a German Shepard’s tooth
a guard dog at the carnival brought me to my knees
left me with a lifetime fear.
At fifteen I drank enough to leave my large body
woke up in dried blood
piecing together my face-walking way home
the night before.
At twenty five I left a boyfriend for his friend
he threw my cordless phone
split my forehead with a neat pop
blood hot down my chest left a trail in the snow
in his other hand he’d held a buck knife
And how could we know
two years later another boyfriend,
on another coast
would re-open my head with the same phone
to free himself
from my jealous teeth.
Cassandra Dallett occupies Oakland, CA. Cassandra writes of a counter culture childhood in Vermont and her ongoing adolescence in San Francisco Bay Area. She has published in Slip Stream, Sparkle and Blink, Out Of Our, Up The River, Hip Mama, and The Criminal Class Review, among many others. A full-length book of poetry Wet Reckless will be released from Manic D Press in the spring of 2014.