We ignore the bag we live in 
until it chastens us.
Cut or burned, bruised 
or broken out, it becomes visible,
heals like magic.
In childhood it’s chicken pox, impetigo, measles.
In high school it’s bouquets of pimples
and ballooning fever blisters.

Perfect skin is edible – who doesn’t desire 
to gobble a baby or
study a youth’s perfection?
At 20, I eat my way through Europe and acquire stretch marks.
At forty, I notice a crack under my chin.
A tiny person seems about to remove the scaffolding.
At fifty, laugh lines become crevasses.
At 73, I drool over nothing.

At 75, the thin flesh of my hands is crinkled,
ancient. I bruise without notice.
Mapped by veins and arteries, this skin’s
a phlebotomist’s delight. It cuts like butter.
The chin under my chin resembles a whale’s,
creased and ridged for expansion.
Perhaps I’ll blow a bubble net
and rise through the day eating words.

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