"beautiful"

they used to be so beautiful,
and now they're barely there.
they are scars, remnants.
they were cuts, turned to scabs,
turned to scars, turned to mere marks,
they are imperfections not worth a second glance.
and even the newest ones are fading.
is it bad to say i miss them?
they make me beautiful, fragile—
something in need of love
they number thirteen—so far
—and to the hope of everyone that number will not grow.
they are fading,
but there is so much behind them
they cannot fade.
you have to understand,
they make me beautiful.

Feb. 2004