Her skin was bruised and beaten, it doesn’t grow
stronger when it gets well, I tell her that it doesn’t heal
faster, it only gets used to it.
But I will not defy those who hurt her because she doesn’t,
she doesn’t want me to hate and I’ll do anything to keep her
lips from trembling.
They gossip behind her back, they say her bones are brittle
Every time she falls down the stairs, or a few flights down,
but do they know how many times she gets back up?
Whenever I treat her wounds, my hand rushes to my mouth,
to keep me from screaming, because I don’t want you to grow more
frightened when your skin rips open and we’re startled by how much
bleeding a leg could do. She slides down to my lap, dizzy and breathing
shakily, so I pull her close and talk gently.
I tell her that her living flesh keeps me going, her flowing blood
tames the blood boiling in my veins when I think of those who want to hurt her.
I tell her that because she’s been brought to me, torn and scratched,
does not mean she’ll bleed out for eternity.
I tell her that in my eyes, she’s not skin and bones, but
skin and beautiful.
Cailey Tarriane is an avid writer and poet with short works published in Spillwords Press, Green Ink Poetry, Birdhouse Lit, and Scribes Micro Fiction, among others. She has written over five novels and can be found frequently scribbling about her beloved pets.