Something Less than Naked

He says “Take off your skin,”
so I do – shrugging off the weight of myself like a coat
that never really kept me warm, anyway.
He stands behind me and helps me out of it,
pulling off the sleeves, fumbling with the buttons and zippers
until every bit is peeled away to reveal the
floating mass of bones I’ve always been.
Not naked – something less than naked,
something secret and private and personal.

He says, “Let me see your insides,”
so I show him – prying back ribs to expose a frantic heart
trapped like a bird too long in its wire cage.
He says, “You are more than any sorrow that has laid its hands on you,”
bending my bars and inviting me out.

He puts his hand on my skull,
claims he can feel its thoughts moving right under his palm.
He puts his ear to my lungs,
swears he can hear the last echo of the Big Bang deep in my core.

He says, “You are older than the universe itself. Tell me how it’s been.
Tell me how you swallowed history, coughed out its wars
and made your peace with the rest of it.”

He says, “Show me how you click on and off again.”
He says, “Tell me about the first time you ever flicked a light switch and
what it meant to hold darkness in your hands.”

He says, “Bring your body to my doorstep – leave it on the mat with your shoes.
Come with your thoughts and heartbeat only.”

I’m barely down his street, thinking my thoughts and beating my heart
and he’s already pulling his door open with a smile left over from yesterday
saying, “Girl, I could hear that parade from a mile away.”

47 thoughts on “Something Less than Naked

  1. Quite brilliant. You’ve made every aspect of the metaphor work. Love the Big Bang and the clicking. Actually, metaphors are at play within the metaphor at large! I like this a lot. —Chagall

      1. What? This old thing?
        (…keeping in mind
        that I’m a huge fan
        of nonsense!)

        I meant every word of it,
        and you are more worthy
        than the vast, overwhelming
        majority of humanity, and I
        am often overwhelmed
        by this bastard race, at
        least when I am not
        nauseatingly under-
        whelmed, which is
        probably most of
        the time these days.

        1. Humanity. Nasty thing. “Bastard race,” indeed.

          Reminds me of a quote from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: “I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race – that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.” (Fantastic book, by the way. Something tells me you would enjoy it.)

          I still find beauty in humanity, sometimes, in hidden places. Your words always lead me back to the source – and for that I am eternally grateful.

          Proud to be with you in this swirling cesspool of humans! Cheers!

          1. That book has been on my to-read list for a while. Does sound like something I’d enjoy for sure. Just got bumped up the queue.

            Hidden beauty is the best beauty.

            “Proud to be with you in this swirling cesspool of humans! ”
            Likewise indeed!

    1. Well, that would probably be the smart thing to do, but I post every poem I write here. For the past few years, my mindset has been about Just Getting Poetry Out There. Whatever that means.

      I need to start thinking about publishing… it’s a scary realm. Thanks for saying this, though – you’ve planted the thought in my head. Perhaps I’ll start putting together a collection.

      1. “Whatever that means.” Exactly what I’ve been doing.
        I guess.
        Definitely scary. I keep thinking and thinking about it. And I just keep on doing what I’ve been doing. ” Just Getting Poetry Out There.”

      2. If you’re not already, I would recommend following these guys:

        I’ve not used any of their editing/submission assistance services, but they have two different poetry prizes that they award annually as a means to expose poets. Winners are put into the running for a Pushcart prize. They seem like cool bunch.
        Although they still require submissions to be previously unpublished.
        I have *almost* submitted something quite a few times now. 😉

          1. And as far as submitting to venues that *will* publish poems that have already been on you blog, you can check out these folks:


            I have had a couple of things accepted on The Blue Hour. Good people.

            Silver Birch does themed submissions. Super-nice lady runs that one. Just haven’t had something on the right theme at the right time to get anything on there, but one of these days…

  2. Unknowingly,i hit twice on follow option some days back and since then I hv been thinking, why ua not in action these days and today only I checked you are there…hehe!! feeling better now, love and blessings!!

Thoughts? I love those.

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