My first bracelet was given to me
At the hospital
Where I was born
My parents hadn't named me yet
So it just said
"Green, baby girl."

When I was a child
I had a God's-eye bracelet
My aunt gave it to me
All us children got one
But mine was purple
And theirs were orange and red

When I was a little older
I had a pony bead bracelet
With a glow-in-the-dark seal bead
At the center
My friend gave it to me
And she had one to match

When I was a teenager
Our downstairs neighbor gave me
A silver swirly bracelet
For my birthday
I wore it all the time
Until I left it by the tub one day
And it rusted
From the water

December of my fifteenth year
I gave myself
A weepy red bracelet
That I couldn't take off
Many more followed
And spread like cancer
All over my skin

Yesterday at work
Luisa brought some costume jewelry
She didn't need anymore
We all took some
Necklaces, earrings, pendants
And bracelets
Mine is black
With beads shaped like skulls
A touch macabre
I like it.