Only those willing to go too far will know how far they can go.


Religion was never a big part
of my life growing up– I was
baptized; went to Sunday school,
Sunday morning services, said my nightly prayers…
I lay me
down to sleep…
but by
the time I reached 16
being an Episcopalian
never really meant much,
until that summer.

Days were spent cheerleading,
playing tennis with Robert,
going to Sunday school,
church, and nightly cruising
the streets of Gibsonia
with: Matt,
Mark and Mike– don’t
get me wrong I believed
in God, the Father; I
believed in our savior Jesus Christ and
the Holy Ghost, but
those names never
ment much when I was 16
the names were never applicable, a
direct connection
never established

that is…
the night of August 29th, 1989.

We cruised the streets–but
instead of Matt and Mark,
Melissa and Dan
were with us.
And now I’m
marked for life, branded with an incision, a
doctor’s scalpel knifed a Latin cross
on my stomach,
engraving my allegiance to the Lord.
almost a cross, a Latin cross missing the right or
left transept (depending on your POV).

I have judged, inspected and contemplated
My token, my memento, my citation
standing naked in front of the full-length mirror
hair, body wet–
The shoddy stitch job
covers my abdomen starting just
below my breast plate, extending just
above my pubis ; it’s a part of me: its
roughness, its puffiness, its discoloration
I can’t get rid of it.

I rub my scar, my
sacrilegious wound with
Vitamin E oil– each
anointing, a
symbol of my faith.

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