Posts Tagged ‘stretchmarks’

How things start to melt open

November 12, 2013  |  poetry  |  3 Comments

After the poem “The Last Time I Slept in This Bed” by Sara Peters

If you’ve ever ripped apart your own body
in order to find the missing sugar cubes
you are certain you once stored
in your throat, you know what it feels like
to stay too long in a bed that no longer
comforts and enshrines you in a velvet
black sleep, allowing your individual
download and collective restart.

Once you find the point of entry,
pray it open until it is a gaping maw,
a cavern as wide as the world, that could
fit all of your broken hearts in just
one glimmer of rainbow. A silver needle
can stitch that right up. Every scar
on the right side of your body, every
stretch mark on your left. You have
no reason to stay, unless you are
secretly tied to the moon and unable
to stop her shine from creeping
toward your wrists when the velvet curls.

It is not an original practice to wallow
in grief, to become stuck thigh-deep
in tar wearing cement boots. Don’t
smash your own feet with sledgehammers
to move on. Maybe instead just insert
the tip of the parasol, let it sink
until you can work it deep
under the surface of all that has you
held back, and open it. You can use it
as the easiest magic carpet. You can bet
that spring will come as the world turns,
as she always has, for the entirety
of this planet’s thoroughest days.

in praise of femmes: stretchmarks

March 20, 2008  |  essays  |  24 Comments

Stretchmarks are one of the most gorgeous features of the body.

I like scars and beauty marks too – all tell the history of where the body has been, what it has been through. These are not things we are born with, but things that are painted upon the naked canvas of us as we grow and change and develop and blossom.

I love skin. Who doesn’t? The body’s largest organ, home of countless nerve endings, housing the sensations we all crave, touching and being touched, sensations from sandpaper to silk, from friction to feathers.

On women’s bodies, we tend to get them in delicate stretched lines around the edges of our breasts, and over our hips. Two of my favorite places to grip and take palm-fulls of flesh for stability and movement, two of the most sensitive curves of the body, ripe and ready to be directed, pushed, persuaded, maneuvered.

Stretchmarks record the pulling of skin over muscle and bone, remembering the change in the curve of the body. Oh, that is so beautiful. Sometimes I can feel these tiny indentations in skin where the turgidity changes, just a small ridge to the fingertip where there is a slightly lighter pigmentation to the eye.

They so often follow the curves of the body more intricately, more delicately, more beautifully than any tattoo or cutting, because the body itself made them.

Sometimes they run in such gorgeous lines [original here] around a curve that they look like the mouth of a river, they look like a tributary, stunning, the way a river hugs the earth, the way the skin stretches around bone, around sinew and muscle, around experience, around knowledge, around growth.