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February 21


M.A. Dubbs

This bruise is a quarter of my life,

a continent of blues and greens

expanding onto my thighs and hips.

A conquest of his love.

He draws on my legs like a

hunter, tracing his kill on varicose veins,

following each raised bend

to my heart.

My skin is topographic,

the cellulite valleys

eroding into in-grown hairs

and bleached crescent scars.

The scars stripe my body,

a timeline on my breasts

and thighs as I grew

and shrunk

into my womanhood.

But he pounds into my flesh,

fracking for every last

ounce of myself, breaking

plate tectonics within

my soul, a release

pushing its way out.

He devastates my body,

deforests me as he plants

a kiss on the barren land

he’s made and the stretch

mark scars that remind me

of a time before him.

M. A. Dubbs is an award-winning Mexican American and LGBT+ writer who hails from Indiana. Her latest book, An American Mujer, is out now with Bottlecap Press (2022).

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