A fragile filter defending us,
holding us whole, intact, and complete.
The irony of armor as risk,
bandage as wound, treatment as poison,
healing as hurt. Infection swells up
under the surface, then scabs over.
Dry skin cracks, bleeds, and then scabs over.
Moisturizer burns; skin puffs and aches;
soap blisters, dries, peels, then scabs over.
The scabs themselves crack, bleed, scab over
again. Oiling skin eases tender
spots, but then triggers new infections.
You can guess what happens then, I’ll bet.
Children ask, “What’s wrong with that lady’s
face?” I would like to know, too, you know?
I bet you’ve wondered, when you see me.
Something I ate? Maybe. Bugbites? Hmmm.
Makeup? Blush? You have to be joking.
Now, sweaters itch, blankets crawl, bandaids
dissolve patches of skin. Honestly,
how ridiculous can this get? DON’T
ANSWER THAT. Now it is electrodes
in a hypoallergenic gel
eating open an “eye” on my chest.
Does it matter how my heart’s beating?
Alright, it does, I admit it. Still,
inside or out, the best organs are
the ones that don’t demand attention.