Even at this late date, sometimes I have to look up the word "receive." I received his deep and interested gaze. A bean plant flourishes under the rain of sweet words. Tell what you think—I'm listening. The story ruffled its twenty leaves. * Once my teacher set me on a high stool for laughing. She thought the eyes of my classmates would whittle me to size. But they said otherwise. We'd laugh too if we knew how. I pinned my gaze out the window on a ripe line of sky. That's where I was going.
Naomi Shihab Nye - 1952-
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.