Winter 1999 • Vol. XXI No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1999 |

Sunburn

A friend compares it to a sunburn—the body heals, he says, but still remembers. If my skin should remember you! In seven years there will not be one cell of me that you have touched, one cell of you caressed by me. The marking happens underneath the flap of skin, the muscle, fat, organs and bone; a sizzling where something was. The body neither forgives this nor forgets. Only the brain retains visions of flower petals sprinkled on a naked body, water flowing beneath a rusty bridge, arms that embraced you in the middle of the night. I see that you are readying me for burial in memories like these. I picture two lovers, so badly burned they only dare to press their lips together, which they do again and again, begging don't touch me, please don't dare touch me again.

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A friend compares it to a sunburn—the body heals, he says, but still remembers. If my skin should remember you! In seven years there will not be one cell of […]

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