Snapshot of Adolescence V

I have a birthmark on my back that has always looked like the beginnings of a gnarly bruise. After every running practice that I pull off my jersey someone else tells me I have a sick skin contusion near where my left kidney resides. And the fervor with which they exclaim it makes me almost need to check twice to be certain. But it’s always been there. Since birth — like a smear of raspberry-colored dye that cannot be washed clean. During those practices, I run like I am being chased. My entire form extends and my feet skip over the rubbery track surface, barely touching down. Tendons, ligaments, and muscles lengthen and contract. A dead sprint every time. I can hear the shoes of those girls just behind me. Can feel their panting breath on my shoulders and neck. Each is vying for my place at the front of the pack. But every time one is about to catch up and pass, I simply push the sprint til the finish line.

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