Skin remembers how long the years grow when skin is not touched, a gray tunnel of singleness, feather lost from the tail of a bird, swirling onto a step, swept away by someone who never saw it was a feather. Skin ate, walked, slept by itself, knew how to raise a see-you-later hand. But skin felt it was never seen, never known as a land on the map, nose like a city, hip like a city, gleaming dome of the mosque and the hundred corridors of cinnamon and rope. Skin had hope, that's what skin does. Heals over the scarred place, makes a road. Love means you breathe in two countries. And skin remembers--silk, spiny grass, deep in the pocket that is skin's secret own. Even now, when skin is not alone, it remembers being alone and thanks something larger that there are travelers, that people go places larger than themselves.
Naomi Shihab Nye - 1952-
These shriveled seeds we plant, corn kernel, dried bean, poke into loosened soil, cover over with measured fingertips These T-shirts we fold into perfect white squares These tortillas we slice and fry to crisp strips This rich egg scrambled in a gray clay bowl This bed whose covers I straighten smoothing edges till blue quilt fits brown blanket and nothing hangs out This envelope I address so the name balances like a cloud in the center of sky This page I type and retype This table I dust till the scarred wood shines This bundle of clothes I wash and hang and wash again like flags we share, a country so close no one needs to name it The days are nouns: touch them The hands are churches that worship the world