by Veronica Dimatulac

They used to colonize my face. They dug holes deep into my skin and buried fears and worries and anxieties. Uncovered, they wreaked havoc. Stretching further down and spawning new and more painful clusters that were foreign. To prod at them to make their marks permanent. To ignore them was to let them fester. 

I used to try to imagine they were friends of mine.

“It’s you, again!” I would exclaim when I would wake up in the morning.

“Thank you for the warning!” I would praise them – but wishing it would disappear.

Rather than constellations they were grounded and constrained. Reachable by my fingertips and visible to my naked eye.

Their presence was never without reason. It was because of blood, of gore, of life beyond my own. It scared me, even now, still. A never ending cycle that I fight with month to month and year by year.

“Cover them up,” I would order myself.

“Do not touch them,” I would recount - a mantra, a warning heard from all around.

Sometimes I would not heed these words, their words.

Glancing at a mirror would betray what lies underneath. Every coloured spot, each raised cyst with a story that could be recounted overtime. To be studied, observed, and to be governed – by who?

Sometimes I would silently scream to send out a signal to another world, to another person who can speak the same language as me. We could be face to face, examining why our marks were never symmetrical, but rising up at the same time. Both of us masking our expressions despite mutual pain and disorientation, as we attempted to peer through the shadows of our skin deep histories that we can pick apart. If we were to extract our thoughts would they be seen as trite? To be synthesised and lose all essence of me.

When I watch them fade I regain some form of normalcy. Weaving through the world without my marks but my path always tied to one already determined. Still waiting for an inevitable sliver to cut and reroute and let me exist beyond what the stars predict for me. But when it once again appears, I am bound to this cycle again and once again and again.

“It’s you, again!”

Today I ask myself, what will be uncovered today.

Tomorrow I’ll ask what will be written over.

“It’s you, again!”

And again. 

Veronica Dimatulac is a Science/Arts dual degree student, a Gemini, and a follower of chaos. I am constantly looking to learn more and do more (but this still a work in progress).

Darshni Rajasekar is an Illustrator at the UNSWeetened Literary Journal.