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

philosophical dialogue #7 (20170603)

–do not confuse forward movement
with progress, he says

he cleans a fingernail
with the point of a knife

i huddle in a corner
all of my skin
curled in ribbons
at my feet
but surprisingly
there is not a drop of blood

–why is that? i ask

he shrugs

–just forward movement, he says

–but not progress?

he offers a smile, the first in hours

—let’s see about progress
after we’ve cut your
eyes free from those sockets

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

silk (20170305)

i let the spiders under my skin
with the understanding
that there would be spinning
in my blood


i did not anticipate
the delicate tattooing
of your face and your name
on the inside of my skin
invisible in daylight
but available under near darkness

marrow for pigment and sharpened
spinnerets for needles
the gentle humming put me to sleep
many nights and i dreamed
of ink and web and shattering glass

with the lights out but for
a single candle
you can read my skin
and find yourself
stitched in glittering filament