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From the unpublished collection: These Vicissitudes of the Epithelium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
the problem
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?

Italicized references:
1. Galaxie 500, “The King of Spain”