friction polish

my body fevers itself open, hushes itself closed.
you are not here to see or unsee me. i unseam

each thigh, spread the delicate well of blood
held within myself. the layers of skin split

themselves open at the touch of silver. the divet
in the blade leaves no mark of its own.

the fever my body makes of itself rushes out,
replaced by a shiver of dull warmth.

though i would like to seep and steep myself
in myself, i gather the flayed skin in a gauze of liquid.

i offer myself back to myself, though often i refuse.
i surface myself above water, meet my own eye in the mirror,

offer myself a plea of recognition i most often refuse.
the body is only the body, the trouble with me is me.

a whole world painted gold not enough to quell my fear.
so i stifle it. wrap my small hands around it and squeeze,

feel my own skin beneath my own hands, remind my strained
lungs to breathe. i hush myself to sleep. i fear myself awake.

the patterns of silk catch light and dust and i rush it all away.
i sit in my box of dirt. cleave dark from beneath each nail.

loosen my tongue and then strain once more. i forget the you
that is here or not here. remembrance burdens; burnishes to a sheen.