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.
Sometimes There Is A Day
Sometimes there is a day you just want
to get far away from.
Feel it shrink inside you like an island,
as if you were on a boat.
I always wish to be on a boat.
Then, maybe, no more fighting
about land. I want that day to feel
as if it never happened, when Ahmad was burned,
when people were killed, when my cousin was shot.
The day someone went to jail
is not a day that shines. I want to have a clear mind
again, as a baby who stares at the light
wisping through the window and thinks,