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.
The tiny journalist
will tell us what she sees.
Document the moves, the dust,
soldiers blocking the road.
Yes, she knows how to take a picture
with her phone. Holds it high
like a balloon. Yes, she would
prefer to dance and play,
would prefer the world
to be pink. It is her job to say
what she sees, what is happening.
From her vantage point everything
is huge—but don’t look down on her.
She’s bigger than you are.
If you stomp her garden
each leaf expands its view.
Don’t hide what you do.
She sees you at 2 a.m. adjusting your
What could she have
that you want? Her treasures,
the shiny buttons her grandmother loved.
Her cousin, her uncle.
There might have been a shirt . . .
The tiny journalist notices
action on far away roads
farther even than the next village.
She takes counsel from bugs so
puffs of dust find her first.
Could that be a friend?
They pretended not to see us.
They came at night with weapons.
What was our crime? That we liked
respect as they do? That we have pride?
She stares through a hole in the fence,
barricade of words and wire,
feels the rising fire
before anyone strikes a match.
She has a better idea.