skin wants to be known
clothed in winter woollens, we make our freezing way
him giving directions, over the phone to the autowala,
we reach this new place in this new city and huddle in,
the sight of his skin: dark as chocolate, oh the cliché
his long arms out from under his t-shirt thin,
I can’t take my eyes off it, as I sit down next to him.
Bare is only my face, poking out of my muffler shawl,
but all my covered up skin, is talking to me as one
touching my hands, touching my skin,
while he sits next to me, I almost touch him.
though dreams come true, skin wants more,
skin wants to be known; it has hope, that’s what skin does.
Skin remembers how long the years grow
when skin is not touched, a gray tunnel
of singleness, feather lost from the tail
of a bird, swirling onto a step,
swept away by someone who never saw
it was a feather. Skin ate, walked,
slept by itself, knew how to raise a
see-you-later hand. But skin felt
it was never seen, never known as
a land on the map, nose like a city,
hip like a city, gleaming dome of the mosque
and the hundred corridors of cinnamon and rope.
Skin had hope, that’s what skin does.
Heals over the scarred place, makes a road.
Love means you breathe in two countries.
And skin remembers–silk, spiny grass,
deep in the pocket that is skin’s secret own.
Even now, when skin is not alone,
it remembers being alone and thanks something larger
that there are travelers, that people go places
larger than themselves.
by Naomi Shihab Nye (1952-)
|—||Andrew Wyeth (via earwigbiscuits)|