Friday, November 11, 2011

Nicole's scar

I don't really write poetry. My song lyrics, of course, but I struggle with those, and in any case, one might say that every song I've written is a lie: usually they are about a character, even if written in the first person, and even when I am talking about myself I will freely change facts or even themes to make a rhyme or to enable a cool line. This post is in the spirit of a poem, but my forte is prose (that is the only way I know how to tell the truth) so that is how I will deliver it.

Nicole had a scar above her right eye. Or maybe above her left; it's strange how fast these details fade from memory. I asked her about it one time. When she was very young -- maybe three? or was it older? -- she had wandered in front of a kid on a swingset, and had gotten clobbered. It was pretty deep. Nicole always wore a lot of makeup, maybe too much, but nonetheless you could always see the scar.

During her life, I thought it was sad. I thought, "What a stupid little incident, and yet this scar will be here forever." But the other week I realized that scar isn't there anymore. Nicole's been cremated. There is no trace of that scar anymore, except for echoes: in photographs, and in the reverberations of Nicole that live on in the neural pathways of her friends and loved ones.

I used to think the saddest thing was that the scar was forever. But I was wrong, the saddest thing is that the scar was never forever.

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