You’re sitting at the cafe table on the patio & picking at the scab just below your knee. You know that it’s gross, & you’re sure that people sitting at adjacent tables have grimaced, but you continue to pretend to read a book that you have already read six times, & pay them no mind.
Heat prickles behind your ears & your foot spasms like a dying animal. You know, without taking your eyes away from the sentence you’ve been staring at for minutes now, that you are bleeding. Your mother’s voice rattles around in the brackish of your brain, “Don’t pick at it! You’ll get a scar!”
You smile. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing.