My Winter Skin
My winter skin.
I thought it would be easier to stop talking about you.
That I could sew together my lips
with iron-like thread,
tie a not, elaborate
(like a kite’s tail) at one end
and give myself a lopsided,
out of place look.
But although I could not speak,
I could see and every time I saw your
over-done hair, I would blink.
The pain would be terrifying,
as I attempted to pry apart my chapped,
My lips betrayed you,
betrayed the way you’d sing in the car,
and laugh whenever silence fell.
Torn, they would murmur,
and I would listen through the dark fuzz of childhood.
My hands wandered, lost and alone,
and I could not match them with yours.
They were irritated, and blushed with scratching;
I would not sit still,
unless to pin them beneath me,
imagine they were glass.
But then I saw you.
Superman-like, you streamed into my vision,
- the stitches dissolved.
But my lips have been closed for so long,
that it hurts to open them,
and people stared as I tried to utter your name.
My little brother.
Away from home,
I had forgotten your smile,
and the way your hands
rubbed your knees,
until your jeans were worn thin.
The way you walked,
and looked over your shoulder.
My voice has died within me and my lips are scared;
my hands are peeling,
a new skin is struggling to grow.
But you smile, and pass me tea,
and tell me it’s winter.
you show me your palms,
turned to the table light,
and I see that they too have lost their first, summer skin.