Kintsugi 1920 1465 Devon R. Ortega

When you are broken, you can feel the cracks
and fissures with the tip of your tongue,
you run your fingertips over the gaps
reading the braille of what’s hurt you.

It is important to prevent these cracks
from becoming pervasive, from spreading
and breaking off pieces that can be lost; an arm left
in a foreign cafe, lips left hidden between couch cushions.

I have learned the fine art of mending
through trial and error. Stitches never hold
no matter how fine and sturdy the thread.
Bandages only conceal and glue degrades.

My preference has become a thin lacquer
that I brush with a dusting of powdered gold.
Hairline fractures become roadmaps, a history
of hurts that now connect and cover me.

I joke that I am now more lacquer than flesh.
The catholic in me knows this is just a victim’s boast,
which might be true, but that never stops me
from marveling at the way I glisten in the sun.

Header photograph © K Weber.

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