no new skin (20170531)

i have nothing
left to lift
not my hands
not my eyes
nor raise my ire

peace is all
slowness that is stillness
unmoving like summer rain
or heavy syrup
heavy as the earth
beneath my feet

i shed my skin
one last time
with no intent
of emerging clad
in a new glistening

does it hurt (20170121)

bottles are clearly marked
return for deposit

once the silicone and titanium
formaldehyde and mortician’s wax
has seeped out of us
when we are no longer anything
but mulch
is that our recycling

or does the soul
–if it even exists–
does the soul undergo
some other process
some forge that burns off memories
and with them grief and guilt

does it hurt

demolding (20161211)

i made a mold of my arm using
food-grade alginate, the same stuff
dentists use to make impressions
of your teeth when you’ve got a crown
in your future (too bad the palace
and regalia don’t come with it)

working my arm free was an exercise
in patience and a slow struggle
against the vacuum that
adhered to my fingers and held them
firmer than any handshake

in the end, there was a sucking pop
and my arm came free
i used the mold to cast a model
of my arm in plaster
all the pores
all the veins
recreated in moon-white
manmade stone

i think that’s the way
i want to be born
if i get a second shot
at this shit
my soul pulled out of
this gelatinous
dessert abomination
with a single deafening crack
and then a body,
still pocked with my imperfections
but no longer yielding to time
or sensation

Poem 20150928

it’s tiring
all of this saving
you save one spider
that crawls across your sink
fighting the urge to smash it
only to rescue the moth
the cat has trapped
by the sliding glass door
and you sigh
when you find the ant
crawling on your sleeve
maybe from the bush
you passed on the walk
and you brush it off
though you know if you found it
in your kitchen
you would have smashed

even mercy
and only the memory
of reincarnation
stays your finger
suspended in the air