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.

This Must Have Been Where I Learned It

It is not hard wood, not the
gleaming – glossy
hard wood.
It is unpolished.
Raw wood.

It was built quick and quietly. An emergency.
Like when a young girl was
sent away quickly
then
returned – everything in
tact, yet emptier.
Ssshhh…We don’t talk about that.¬†

It did not have the luxury of central air
or Vinyl Siding…
an “unfinished home”.

Unpolished, unfinished and
dysfunctional!!
The hot water was arrogant and the
cold water, cruel!
December nights waltzed in through the
cracks in the unstable
structure like they were made to take over the
place.

Pneumonia often leeched it’s way in,
threatening the morsel of comfort contained in
bronchial tubes.
Homes are cold and aloof though,
comfort is of no concern to them.
The set-up just stood, hard and rigid.
The floor boards shrieking out, as
if a bare-foot was
too much to sustain.

After some time, the ceiling began to cave. It had
been standing straight for
as long as its resources would allow.
It grew weak and frail, the floor
began to rot away, broken windows
sat bandaged back together, paralyzed.
Cinder blocks carried in cobwebs
that housed spiders more comfortably
than this house did its inhabitants.

One day, all of the inhabitants
packed and went away. No remorse, no sadness,
just the bare-feet walking further and further away.