Armor doesn’t fit over stretch marks. Stainless steel dissolves when it meets your numb, purple scars. Imperfect lies below in the storybooks. People point to your arms. They’re like potatoes hanging from a nourished tree together, the lumps they have forced you to hate are made of fat. You have been taught to hate yourself, my darling. Where is the little girl who could buy a teeshirt that doesn’t reach down to her knees. I know she’s buried deep inside you. If I dig deep enough I’ll find. You lived all that trauma once, and if you’re past the so-called point of no return, you can’t be broken again, right?
You used to be the girl who loved dragons.
Do you remember when you tried to slay the dragon. How you slipped on the white tile floor, and gasped. Your lips could not meet the air. And the dragon spat ice and fire and pain, and you pinned it to the ground with a pair of scissors and a sewing needle. You ripped the dragon’s heart from its chest, and jumped on it, like you were on the trampoline again, to show your victory. Do you know how sick you are? How can you be my child? You are such a child. You took the brain out and the bladder, the brachial artery and the left eye, and pushed them all into the skull, like oatmeal into a hat. Like that is all your scaled opponent could ever need. Then you ran off into the woods, dressed all in black, mourning what you thought you had killed. The dragon did not believe in heaven, belonging to its opposite, having been such a horrible being. You sprinted, 2mph, directly into a cage, formed of stalagmites that had come from the tears of the dragon. I can hear you walking away honey, you’re too elephant to be quiet. Look down. You were always trying to fight the dragon, but you are so much stronger for letting it live. Even if you didn’t mean to, you have to sit up in bed every morning while guilt binds you like duck tape to the basement. You can live as business partners, pushing to get things done, ignoring that one of you tried to kill the other. As she coils inside your spine. That is how I will know you are merciful.