Posts Tagged ‘skin’


Oh grief, you are not like a rash—
something irritating from which
I will eventually recover.
Something that affects just the surface.
I am coming to know you as I know
my own skin—many layered. Resilient.
Something I don’t think of as separate.

Everything that touches me,
is informed by you—
whatever is sharp, soft, rough, tender.
Through you I sense it all.
Is it strange I once thought
I needed to protect myself from you?
Now you are me, integral as bone,
fundamental as blood, natural as joy.
To know you is to know myself—
to know what it is to be alive.
Once we were strangers.
Now I can’t live without you.

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They’re almost invisible now,
these scars on my hands—
cuts from cat claws
and thorn bushes,
barbed wire fences.
I have long since forgotten
their stories.  
It’s what the body does—
forms new fibers
to mend damage.
But what of when
the wound has touched
every part of the body,
every part of the heart,
every part of story
of who you are?
How long will
there be healing
before there’s a scar?
Will it be raised?
Or sunken? Or flat?
I run a fingertip
along the thin pale lines
on the back of my right hand.
These scars, I see
are repairs made by time
and biology.
But some scars,
I believe,
are beyond the body.
Some scars
can only be knit
by miracle.

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Though All Around Us, Entropy

It holds things in—
the bile, the bones,
the heart that floats,
the glands, the spleen.
It cages the pulse

and encases the dance
of corpuscles
and ligaments.
It holds what’s left
of this woman who’s wept,

and it does not scar
after runnels of tears.
It shows the years
that passed but does
not tell their secrets.

It holds the brain,
the gut, the tongue,
even the heaving
of race-run lungs,
and tries to be

a container for grief,
but it leaks, the skin,
and grief, it spills,
it rushes, stampedes,
unravels and floods,

unreels and keels
and erupts. It’s messy,
grief, and its twin sister
bliss, both of them
practiced escape artists.

It’s just doing
the task it knows
best, the skin,
dutifully trying
to hold it all in.

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