An Invisible Grief

I lay on my side facing him, my head propped on one elbow, my other forearm extended on the sheets between us. He smiled at me, then looked down and passed one finger lightly over my forearm, near the top crease of my wrist bone. He traced two small, faint scars nestled there, little pale parentheses cradling a minor vein. He looked up at me, knit his brows.

“I made them once,” I admitted. “It wasn’t such a big deal. It wasn’t dangerous or anything.” Toru nodded wordlessly, conceding that they were nowhere near the underside of my wrist, where tender skin separated artery from air.
These were marks made during a particularly confused period of adolescence when I had wanted not so much to destroy myself as render tangible an invisible grief so it might begin somehow to dislodge and recede.

-Passage from The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World by Tracy Slater


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