I Said I Liked Stars, But You Gave Me Neosporin

I jumped off the front of a boat once.
Eight minute late sun feasted on
freckled eight year old skin
As lake water rushed into a gaping hole—
I cut my thigh against the bow.
Pure O positive rushed into the lake;
scraped knees ached as
Chicago garbage creaked in between tourist destinations.
Growing up clumsy creates cicatrix constellations that connect digested memories
Into a story that only unfolds if you get me drunk enough.

There’s a scar on my lip that only the girls notice
While the boys are too interested in counting my stretchmarks—
There’s discoloration on the left side of my chest
from loving someone too much and not knowing it was wrong—
Humans leave scars too often.

Cats do too,
My hands are covered in catnip catastrophes and
Sometimes they melt into other people when they ask me about my day,
If you peel back my skin you will find a solar system of lacerations
that spin around my lungs, pushing every breath in and out
Stars are the scars of a universe, creating supernova stories that prove—
The wrinkles in time hide the deepest parts of us.

I am sick of burning of my gashes with hydrogen peroxide in order to prevent infections,
Petroleum jelly doesn’t work on internal damage, although it helps
There are a total of 42 external scars on my body,
Faded away with slipped on cream, pressing deep into the pores of unfinished stories—
There are certain areas I want to forget.

I’ve tried every home remedy that runs in my family,
Because the scars that cross our hearts repeat themselves—

There are no two stars in our universe with the exact same properties.
Variables ranging from total numbers of atoms to chemical composition
Others require studies of their planetary fingerprints and
I wish someone could erase the fingerprints on my lunar heart or
The scratches from people who don’t bite their nails.
I wish they sold Neosporin for cuts concealed under my three layers of skin—
Meteor showers can penetrate deeper than anyone I’ve ever met.
My body has become a dead surface lined with constellations that drip to my core—
Astronomical entities are abundant on my skin, but they dig deeper under pale complexions.

Maybe Vaseline will heal my lacerations over time, but they will scar.
There are not enough bandage wraps and alcohol pads
carefully placed in Dollar Tree first aid kits to help me forget about the universe inside me.
So when I tell you I like stars,
Just pass the Neosporin.

By Lexy Chilson