the skin you’re in (20171028)

stop picking at it
is good advice

the nail slips under
the edge of the brown, cracked scab
lifting slowly
watch the old coagulation
crease and sweat serum
as it rolls up

you’ll leave a mark
you’ll make a scar
why do that to your skin
once so soft so

[the insides of eggs are soft
but so are omelettes]

into flesh
not frantically
you’re not a beast
this is science
after all
a white coat
a bunsen burner
a double-blind

how many times
can you heal
over in the same spot
before the blood gives up
before the skin gives up
before the heart gives up

the origins of sculpture (20170128)

o, unlucky bastard who dug
uncovering wet sticky globs of clay
not for planting, but for
the first grave he ever had to dig

grimy and covered in filth
did he know the worth of those
handfuls of red earth that made it
impossible to grow his crops

did he have the capacity to
imagine or to indulge in idle
thought about that dense earth
that squeezed through his fingers

that kept the impression of his
thumbprint, his fingernails, his toes
did he make an image of a child lost
an image that baked in the sun

did he remember an old story
of life entering the earth
as breath or did he make that up
himself, and did he not

try to resurrect that child
did he not breathe into that clay
did he not rise with lips red and wet
his own lungs empty

Poem 20150106

after the fog lifted
we could see the damage
the car had done to the tree
struck a glancing blow
the tree lay on its side
and fully intact
as if to protest its own doom
but the next day
city workmen
with chainsaws and wood chippers
reduced it to a noisy memory
the smell of resin
and a hole in the ground