Saturday, March 5, 2011

Washcloth

I have scrubbed the dead words off my face. They are in my hand:
I have not much to offer you but dirt and these dry flakes.
Language like mine is the uppermost layer of skin,
the earth’s epithelium—see what I mean? The appearance of things, beauty
of rhythm, in sound and in tones
smooth, the articulation of perfect faces. That is why young fresh forms
attract. But I know a man whose face
was looked over, when the overlookers lacked ears
or ear canals, temporal lobes, or open souls.
He sears flesh with his tongue without leaving a mark on the surface of things
and then goes
to roll gently back the dead surface of things.