Volume 41 ~ 2018


After Naomi Shihab Nye's

     "Two Countries"

  I.                                                                           Delaney

We leave this city behind, skin 

against skin, hand in hand, never

letting go. Skin scars

and never forgets the past.

The lights, the rhythm, the people,

this is not our place to stay.


  II.                                                                         Sara

Feathers fall from their roots

in skin. They fade as they float,

forgotten, and skin greys

at the loss, but will never recall

what is gone. The skin unfurls

into a husk and drifts through

empty corridors.


  III.                                                                        Jade

Skin knows trauma and sews

security over gashing

gullies, pulling pieces back

as one. Never has skin severed

so deep. Never has skin recalled

residual calamities and braced

against a coming storm. Skin

never shuddered as fierce.


  IV.                                                                       Abby

There was a time when skin 

didn’t feel like it knew 

a home, but long roads

of lasting emptiness

led it to the city

it searched for.


  V.                                                                        Liz

Skin remembers each lying touch,

and never forgets being torn,

but skin wounds can heal. Skin

remembers the denial, never

forgets the hatred, but misses

the comfort, that feather of

beauty and all its love.


  VI.                                                                     Hope

Skin never forgets stress

or depression. It calls

a vicious city a home, and

alcohol a bed. Skin stretches

for thousands of miles, wraps

round bodies in hundreds

of colors. Does skin forgive?


  VII.                                                                   Shelby

Skin always remembers

it’s not special. Deep within,

skin buries itself

in self-doubt and wraps

itself in sadness. It wants

to forget, but the chains of

depression hold the feelings

in place.


  VIII.                                                                 Hallie

Skin rustles under cold sheets

each night. Lonely fingers grasp

for an ounce of warmth, only

to return to itself with empty hands.

We never care to remember

the scars of time; skin

that was once smooth,

now worn and wounded by years

of emptiness, deep and gnawing.


  IX.                                                                    McCartney   

Skin remembers the razor,

tentative, across the wrists.

“I will never be good enough”

“I will never be loved”

“I am alone with no help”

“I’m drowning” Skin also

remembers the warmth of a hug,

a held hand, a close body   

saying, “it will be okay.”


  X.                                                                    Alexis

Skin knows when it is touched.

When skin creeps it’s not alone.

When water falls from above

skin dances in the drops.

When skin is uncertain,

it looks for company. Skin

remembers that it used to look

for love.