These Vicissitudes of the Epithelium
From the unpublished collection: These Vicissitudes of the Epithelium
Author's Note: Italicized references are listed at the end of the poem.
The skin is the thing
if it's not the color
it wants to be in contact with other skin
epithelial desires, drives
I look at my hands
always the same
my attention is gradually drawn to the periphery,
the boundaries of my epithelium
and the void
and the void, the terror
if it weren't for this accursed skin
I could be the “King of Spain”
“I would never cry again”
I could merge with others
I wouldn't have to be my monadic self
skin makes words (like “you” and “me”)
skin makes words (like “mine” and “yours” and “us” and “them”)
the awareness of Being
electrons and protons
attract and repel
that is not love and hate
but all of this suffering of the skin
these vicissitudes of the epithelium
I'm almost ready
to opt to be a neutron.
the size of the page
dictates what unfolds
(although editing can easily change that)
and today is not yesterday
nor is yesterday tomorrow.
I hold my hand up to the sky
it has a nice, fine tremor
why is “me” imprisoned inside this
exquisitely sensual film?
the delicate lines and creases of palm
just as it is wrong to deny the desire of the skin
so is it wrong to focus solely on its teleology?
1. Galaxie 500, “The King of Spain”