Glove and Oak

January 3, 2016
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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,
no burn,
no cold,
no people
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.

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Sally said...
Jan. 5, 2016 at 8:31 pm
It's really cool how you actually have multiple meanings in this poem. You also point out the injustice of the world, like how some children are born with deformities and have a ton of scars. It's kind of like you're saying we're all people, so what makes anybody better than those children with scars? Innocent kids like that don't deserve those scars so regular people don't deserve to keep themselves scarless either.
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