by April Krassner

While hers are raised, keloid cross hatches white
skin on white, my daughter’s have sunk deeper
into the darker skin, darker brown on brown
and for a second I catch myself sucking in.
Earlier I gasped audibly at seeing
her too skinny, naked back craven, deformed
by celebrated body loss. Such glamour!
Nowadays she is less aggressive
and simply picks and picks at crusted scabs,
pimples and scabs she has come by more
honestly. A gash from a branch swinging
back, a cut from a fall on uneven
pavement, cuts kept from healing. She can’t stop,
can’t stop from turning the inside outside
showing blood. She isn’t ready to own
what she owns, a body whole, a history
mangled, torn from a perfect impression
of an earlier life. She can’t manage
nor recount the story that is her story,
the one that will remain forever hers.
She can’t manage it, not yet, not just yet.

April Krassner is the Associate Director of the Writing Development Division of the Office of the Dean and Clinical Associate Professor of Developmental Writing, at NYU’s School of Professional Studies where teaches both expository and creative writing. A poet, her work has appeared in Poet Lore, Anderbo, Journey to Crone, an anthology of 80 women poets, and most recently The Five-Two. For the past seventeen years she has co-directed the Summer Intensive Creative Writing Workshop with Ruth Danon. Ms. Krassner considers herself to be a domestic and political poet always interested in language and how it shapes experience. She is currently working on a manuscript of prose poems that focus on failures of communication within families. April Krassner received her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College.