Familiar, Loving Skin.

Saturday morning cuddled up with me
and my headache. Oh, I have come to loathe
the way the skin of another
brushes mine.

In my mouth, I keep a wire brush
for these kinds of sentiment.
What does foreign skin want with mine?
I am not affection.
I am not security.
I am not love.

I am a long stick carved out of a fertile tree,
I wait with the rest to be carried away
for fire wood.

I do not ask you to touch me, but
burn me. Make me smolder
and burst into words that fit me comfortably
because the skin of another cannot.
My skin shrieks with the slightest of breeze.
It is angered and nervous.

A long time ago,
my familiar, loving skin was ripped from
my body, disassembled from its home. When I got
it back, I was distracted. It must have shrunk because
it does not fit properly now.

I have been wiggling in it for years, washing my insides
with cold water for deep compression, trying to find
the right size
for my bones and my muscles and all my dangling, angry
nerves, to fit.

Canker Sore

I think of my skeleton as a
canker, burning hollow in
a deep, deep cave.

My son cries about my skeleton and
I tell him,
“hush now! It is just bones. 
It is just white, not blood or bed.”
And it is not.

I have a long, thin canker and
I have a man with knitting hands.
He wraps me in warm stitches;
in strong pursuit.
He points me with pressed thumbs
just enough that
I pound with his heartbeat.

I am a canker and he is a mouth hosting
an ulcer. He cleans,
cauterizes me with searing tips and
I cry about my skeleton and he says,
“hush now, it is just bones.”
But, it is not.