Zit for Zat

January 1, 2009
By Rebecca Harburg, Portland, OR

“May I zit here please?”
Each asks.
“My head is killing me,”
They explain.
“What’s wrong with that?”
We ask.
It doesn’t need explaining.
The tyrants of adolescence
Zit where they please.
These zits imagine
We respond like this:
“Yes, sure, go ahead.”
A head—now that’s what we wish our zits would come to
For the welfare of the ones they latch onto
Please declare all juices before penetrating the border
Let the skin pore-ter carry them to other destinations…
Or not—
We have forgotten that we must earn zits’ departures
Must first let them be and recognize the good they do.
Zits provide visible evidence
Of the pubescent adolescent
Within each of us beginning, slowly, to mature,
Preparing for the arrival of hair down yonder.
With a morning bath of cold water,
And an afternoon snack of the finest cream
We try our best to welcome zits.
But by nighttime we’ve had it
It’s dark and no one can see
What we do to fight back the army of acne
We put away the nourishing goo
And let our fingers walk the moon
It’s full tonight
Except for the craters
That we’ve created
And that we must accept
As mere tiny specks
In a solar system
Even larger than that of the body.

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