Skin Deep / Caitlin Pegar

I.

 

At night I lay alone

watching the wrinkles of my wrists

touch fingertips one atop another

trying to feel through the nail

 

Bathing the aged paper of her

gentle where she cannot be

wedged between wrinkles

I find hints, stories, her

littered scars lost from memory

I find parties and books, weddings

work, the scar that bore my brothers

Sponging between her folds

soaking up what’s left

of all the things she told me

before I learned to listen

 

II.

 

At night I lay alone

pondering the pores of my breasts

touch fingertips together

trying to feel two places at once

 

Air moves across my cheek

cotton slides beneath my back

my hand near hers

I kick the wool off our legs

she doesn’t move so

I rest against her chest

to move with her

finding I can’t

as she only touches back

through air

and space

 

III.

 

At night I lay alone

grazing the hairs of my arms

touch fingers to bare tips

trying to feel the prints

 

If the woman at Winco every Thursday

had a zipper to draw along her spine

would she shed her scars

give in to the gift of protruding

ears lips labia and eyelids

instead of the twists of melted flesh

which have enveloped her so long

she has forgotten the face of herself as a child

 

as if that would erase the burn

 

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