I think of pain like a knotted rope. One hand over the other to touch taut rope or knotted rope. The rope is rough and prickly. It makes me cough.
"But you're so young..." I feel old and broken. And yet I know one day I'll look back, shake my head at my former self. "Fool!"
I imagine another version of myself -- someone like you -- rocking back and forth on her heels, confident and brutal -- "My back is yours. Fix me, doc."
For every knot there is a shadow self who knows just what to do, knows what we should have done. Paper dolls for every bone. Paper bones. Flutter, flicker, let go.