Skip to main content

The Wound

ISSUE:  Winter 1985
I try to admire my skin
changing beneath my eyes
looser each year when I touch it

not unlike the flesh of my ribs
when I rub my hands down

or that of my breasts
when I appreciate their plumpness

Like hers they are lightly nippled
and small
each filling a palm

Was it this way
perhaps loving her own body
she noticed that knot?

In one week the raw seam
lay on her heart

As a child
seated on the edge of her bath
warmed by its steam
and curious about the face
scrubbed of Max Factor
and beaded with sweat

the unclothed skin
stained red

I inhaled the secret bathroom odors
powder and shit

Once I feigned tears

to again press my face
with its open mouth to her body

When she called
I thought of sending red roses
wanting the pucker of their parted mouths

the mouths of newborns who had nursed


whose mouths surpassed nursing

I rouged my face
swearing on my reflection
to never die

my children watching
to grief’s common odor

rising from laundry frothing in the hall
from dishes crusting unwashed in the sink


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Recommended Reading