In recovery, I decide to Google how to erase the ice pick scars from my face

By Kaitlyn Crow
Deep and narrow scars haunt my face, remnants from when every glance in the mirror felt like confrontation. They surface through my full-coverage foundation and I wonder if, when strangers see them, they can feel the scritch-scratch of skin under my fingernails, back when an invisible pulley system dragged my fingers across my face, always searching, impulsed, for something to catch.

In recovery, caught on keywords ice pick, the machine redirects me all the way back to the 1950s, to Walter Jackson Freeman II and his brimmed hat. Back to the theatrics of driving around in the “lobotomobile,” pausing for photos in the middle of his disabling pop-pops into the eye sockets of thousands of people with brains like mine, mostly women who scritch-scratched away at the restlessness of keeping house and keeping quiet.

I put my hands to my cheeks and feel the pitted shapes. I scritch. I scratch.

About the author

Kaitlyn Crow is a queer writer based in Richmond, Virginia. Their works have appeared or are forthcoming in bluestockings magazine, Wrongdoing Magazine, and COUNTERCLOCK, among others. They serve as an editor at K'in Literary Journal and Chaotic Merge Magazine.

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