My father always tells me to keep my hands on the side
“Don’t touch your face, don’t run them through your arms.”
I was well aware that gazing at the sun would run red to the surface
I know well enough how fast my scratches bled.
Sometimes I’d still expect otherwise, it never hurts, it won’t bleed
So I dig the round edges of my nails deep against my skin and run it
A presence lingers but it was never pain, I look scourged but I don’t mind
I look at the mirror and see drizzles of blood spreading across my face
“Things are not as bad as they look.” is all I said.