self mutilation

Still Life by Cecca Austin Ochoa

Still Life by Cecca Austin Ochoa

I lie and say this scar’s a gift from my cat. Three inches long, hypertrophic, silver and purple; it's like the hidden seam in taxidermy, only inside out. People look doubtful—including Ana who’s got more scars than a lightning tree—but when they meet my cat, wild thing, they believe. She’s feral with six toes, a clipped left ear and a face like a chupacabra. I put food out for her on the window sill when I hear her purring, then see those glowing lantern eyes in the night. She doesn't like to be touched. Only when she steps through the window onto the kitchen table and pushes her fanged face into my hand, do I run my fingers through her matted tabby coat. I click my tongue for her, my wild thing. She disappears for months at a time then suddenly shows up. She’s like Ana in that way.