Throughout my life,bruises have stood as shrines to the things I have loved that have hurt me.
I used to tear the skin off of my little kid shins while running through fence rows filled with blackberry vines, and then go home sticky with blood and joy, purple with juice and bruises.
I’ve had collections of Chartreuse and black bruises from falling down skateboarding, bruises from dancing, bruises from people who loved me, from people who hated me, uncomplicated bruises from sex that left me happy in the pit of myself when I saw them. I’ve had several people’s share of the bruises from nights that are devoid of memories, nights when I’ve drunk so much I can’t remember details. Some of the things that have bruised me have almost destroyed my life.
The ones below are from trees. I’ve never been able to climb a tree and not be bruised like an apple. I will move my body ,coiling along the limbs and bruising my inner thighs, and slam my shins against the branches until they turn purple. I don’t know that it’s ever been comfortable to climb a tree, but it is joyful and invigorating and wild in a way often forgotten as an adult. So enjoy my bruises, because they will always be here, visible and vulgar.