Prison Intake, 2003

Any tattoos/scars?
No tattoos.
Shirt off.

Jesus, baby. Razor blades?
Bread knife, mostly.
Ok, go ’head.

Right arm, keloid, serrated knife, breakup. Left arm, same knife, seven parallel, I tell everyone brambles, but they are too symmetrical, too perfect. Chest, straight blade, curiosity, college, bleeding, something. Chest hair covers ok. Stomach, patternless, but the lines are too straight to excuse, first time I bought foundation ‘girlfriends, right?’.

Hold on, baby, I need a new form.

Back, I don’t even know, just take a picture. Shoulders, plastic comb, resolve, the skin just folds tighter and tighter, and tighter. Inner thighs, drunk, serrated, lonely.

No, those are accidents.

I don’t give a shit how you got them, show me your hands. That all?

That’s all.

The form didn’t ask about the tears
on the carpet, the contracts I signed
with myself to stop, the clarity of sadness,
of melancholy, of mania. She recorded
my scars, in case someone needs to identify
the body,
and redefined their permanence.


by Christopher Forrest

Christopher Forrest.jpg

Christopher Forrest lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with his wife and two young children. After a near-decade boondoggle in the financial world, he chose a more rewarding path. He earned his MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, and currently serves on the editorial staff of Press 53 and Prime Number Magazine. He prefers spending time outdoors, chasing his kids around, and eating barbecue (with vinegar).

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