What Matters

A precision slice of scalpel blade sears
the skin down the back of her thighs. Laid bare
behind closed eyes, no warm sensation seeps –
blood remains in her veins and arteries.

Close inspection finds bruises mistaken
for a smudge of mascara beneath eyes;
finger trembles and an unsteady gait
signs that her surgeon is very thorough.

Years to grow accustomed to pain and still
each flick of the blade brings a muscle flinch;
she wears the mask of calm serenity
and pushes the smile up into her eyes.

She has no need of your pity; she knows
she is alive – this is what matters most.