Ode to Skin

You, the fabric that covers my bones
In all its tanned brown glory
You, the canvas of my emotion
And also its shelter.
For you are the thin line, the boundary, the border
Separating, protecting
This convoluted rabbit hole of an inner world 
From the outer one.

You are the curtain, the doorway, the membrane
The universe must sear through 
Before it sears me.
With all your intricate layers 
That you cast off and renew
You are the shield
All scars must get through.

You are the vessel, the marionette, the coffin
That encapsulates my soul in its worldly warmth,
Packing supernovas and blackholes and a gooey conscious
Into a five-five body for the cosmos to comprehend,
The sluice gate which confines my cyclones in
And lets my tsunamis slip through in solitude.

You are the companion, the slave, the master
Born with me, liquid milk, you
are what the world touched first. 
You'll live through the hormonal hurricanes of my youth
Till finally the liquid milk unfolds its wrinkled layer
To be blown on and pulled off by the icy warm fingers of death
And dissolved in the flames of earth's remembrance.

You are the yielder, the rebel, the healer,
Submitting your forests to razed
And your land to cut or dug or burnt           you
Endure it all with nary a sob
And yet, you are strong. 
You are strong, not malleable,
For you never give in, my beautifully stubborn rebel you
Come back,                        slowly,                              quietly
Your silent rejuvenation your powerful protest. 

You are the transmitter, the receiver, the storer
That feels the elements and etches them into itself
Memories and secrets only you and I know;
The raindrops that slip under the umbrella,
The wind in my face on a bicycle ride,
The yellow warmth of the winter sunshine,
The soft dewed grass under a tree in my toes.
You            
are what turns moment into memory.

You many not be pretty, or uniform, or perfect
But that is why you are human
You are tangible
And most importantly, 
You
Are mine.