epidermis

Because I want to know what color you are

Unpeeled Underneath

the layers and layers of

that epidermal organ

beneath which you reside

 

to see the shade of purple in your veins

the pulse of red in your arteries

the exact trace of gold in your bone marrow,

to see the sunburned subterranean of your chest.

And with my hand, I’d hold these parts of you

these inside beautiful things to see

if the colors swirl, blend or bend,

what patterns and shapes they make

when they mingle with my simple dissecting fingers

 

Because I want to know where you keep God,

Maybe inside the meat of your hands that

glow crimson on guitar strings, or between the

syncopated notes of your sandpapered voice;

maybe inside the bend of your smile is where

you hold your prayers, or maybe behind

the iris of your eye is where your wings hide.

 

Because I want to know

 

If I took apart your heart chamber by chamber,

Slid my thumb inside the arterial valve,

would it be covered with cholesterol or tears?

 

If I opened your stomach would I find

cherry fragments or whole bits of carnage,

the residue of broken dreams or

the saplings of promises believed,

would I discover which direction your river flows?

 

Searching the crinkles in your brain,

swimming among the folds of your jungle genius,

would I find a thing called your soul and could I taste it too?

 

Would it fit the contours of my mouth,

bending like chocolate,

would it savor like your swirling rhythms

that pounding part of you under the ribs,

and if

 

when I put you back together again,

wrapping you in layer after layer

of your skin like a fragile cocoon,

could I still see the kiss I left on your heart?

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