In the Skin

Lynette Lamp Draped in paper, you jump like a startled squirrel when I enter the exam room.You always do. I didn’t askabout the tattoos,even though I probedwith questions about everything else. You told me, once you trusted me to know.Spider-man on your left armto give you strength after your father’s suicide.An awkward iris on your backplanted over your ex’s name.On your right thigh, an angel with the date your sister died. The kid in the El Camino was at fault,but no one sued, only grieved. Still grieving. You say each break in your skin helped heal some other broken part.But there’s no place for that ink in your chart. Lynette … Continue reading



a poem by Nat Mulkey* Sharp pain greets my shoulder My shoulder sighs, This again. Your hand has a flag, Of your country The IV at the center, poorly placed Covers it in blood. I wince, breathless Skin getting red and raw This one is bigger than the last Only halfway done. Near your ribs in calligraphy Names of your children Pulsating above your Nervous heart. Hours pass The outline is complete. Shading and color still to do Anticipation My hand trembles. A finger drags along your abdomen That is where they will cut And enter your body. Your hand reaches I needed this To stay, feel alive My voice … Continue reading

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