We had to carry you to the back,
sleeping twigs and sleeping bark,
to the undisturbed shade,
under the oak that still breathes the breeze.
My fingers forgiving,
divided by a glove,
merely grazing the impressions of your face,
the potholes that cover it,
they’re like the ones on a fed-up road.
You’ve been eaten hollow from the inside,
the bark outside you flakes away to dust,
every single infinitesimal organism you’ve fed, sheltered,
they’ve been here – I see that.
I hear something.
Why keep yourself safe
there are little boys and little girls with
skin falling off at the slightest touch,
constantly shedding their thin cocoon skin,
to crimson flesh born anew, tender
rosy rare gasping in the diseased air,
who bleed and don’t stop bleeding.
Why aren’t you bleeding
Open your coffin,
unbroken skin is all,
have beat it raw, caressed it, violated it
kissed it sensitive along the curve of the neck;
no wound remaining
of the demons that have been fighting
your whole life to crawl out
the hell inside you.
What about the stench
the strangled arteries, the pitch dyed lungs,
the heroine of years past that run sticky sweet through your veins,
coursing through every etch of your body.
Why shield them
Why shield yourself
Take off the glove.
Prick your fingers,
let a sliver of wood interrupt your skin,
let it blister.
Do you feel that?
gritty, chafing, barbed, knobbed,
my eyes, my nose, my heart, my soul,
it’s you now.