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Skin to Skin
a poem (draft of poem)
Skin to Skin There can be no breakthrough without something or somebody breaking I was numb when you came out of me I knew you by your cry I knew you by your tiny, fisted hands You were wrinkled and blue and resistant to everything I knew you were mine because you resisted I knew you by the pins and needles that awakened my thighs by my own tears when the nurse came in to give you a bath and I wanted to punch her fat face for the impassive way she marionetted your limbs flopped you around as if you were just another baby As if you were made for this world That’s how I knew you would always be inside me even though you’d broken yourself free It’s late and you’re snuggled up against me I can’t sleep I can’t move The weight of you my beautiful you is crushing I can’t breathe because I’ve given you all my air I look at the clock the TV, the drab carpet your little head resting on my arm I watch my feet flexing toward our faces from the edge of the bed I look up at the ceiling fan and back down to your mushed-up cheek pressing against my hot skin What am I looking for? Something to break Something to break open, to break through It can’t be me because I have to be strong for you It can’t be you It can’t be you It can’t be you
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