Skin

by J.P. Grasser

You have thought the same thing, church-wise,
               About inserting the me into it. There’s the guise

With the prayer we trespass through, our words
               Strangers in territory we can’t remember: the Lord’s

Prayer, lulled in unison, a blent, near-demonic chant.
               Then the transfiguration, what with the cannibalism

Too. What about me? Take me, Eat me. It goes on,
               But you can’t see it. At eight, with my mother’s long

Hours, I went to pottery summer camp. I’d spin
               The wheel, clay action-painting itself wetly, thinly,

All over my apron skin. Mrs. Rosa said, at snack-time,
               Try to peel the grape before you eat it, I’m not lying,

It’s a totally different fruit. We think the exposed flesh
               Looked like heat particles, jarring one another as redress,

Above summer asphalt. Which is what the crucified
               Thief’s legs must’ve done too, a twitchy and purified

Two-step in plain air. It’s not blasphemy, here’s why:
               There are patterns at work here, and I am pride-less.

Because I can’t see it either, is the truest thing
               About it, and maybe an idea is just an offering

To take from me, to eat from mine or whoever’s
               Cupped palms, and for a while be thought whole.

Then you bite my shoulder, your body less form
               Than idea, and my skin, my wafer-thin skin, torn again.



Read J.P. Grasser’s “Honeycomb”

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