Thursday, February 03, 2005


It was meticulous grooming. It was three quarter
length sleeves. It was boots,
even in the summer.
It was a carefully constructed checklist and
cycle of constant correction. It was second hand.
It was automatic.

It was less shame than what seemed a respectful consciousness of self
against the gracious framework of the whole,
of wanting to spare the observer from the unpleasant and unkind.
The painful.
As well as the less than altruistic desire to
circumvent the accidentally extended glance
followed by the averted gaze.
It was avoidance.

It was in the warm hush of intimacy
both conversational and carnal
that your fingers traced the constellations of
moles and freckles that cover my face.
They rested momentarily at the crescent shaped depression
dissecting the arc of my brow
without thought, I shifted my head slightly.
As if to protect them both.
Preserve the moment.
It was an automatic avoidance.

It was with effort that I
let your fingers slide to my shoulder and brush
the length of my arm, to stop almost
3/4 of the way down to quietly contemplate
a sudden, slick span of skin.
I did not pull away.
And as you gently tucked your foot against
a leg full of foreign materials that do the job
crushed and now absent bone once did,
you said,
“Your scars fascinate me.
You are like a story waiting to be told. I love that.”

It was not automatic.
It was not avoidance.
It was worth the effort.

1 comment:

  1. The rhythm of this poem reminds me of Ginsberg's poem "Hadda Be Playin' on the Jukebox"