Second Skin

by Tamsin Smith


like your mouth when you sleep

words present in absence




one into ocean

one from the sum of home and yonder

one’s intention is forever dividing

away from its lone integer

tailoring new endings

             < and cheers to that! >

we should give something up

for the brilliance of projections

like the ones that set black water to blaze with hidden fish

for clear is the screen

upon which we cleave


extending metaphor

beyond even this most human act

i am lava             i am ice

         burning and breaking

         across continents 


          the sweet

                 ecology of intimacy

between each life-line

traced from wrist to thumb

below the fleshy edge

where fist pounds palm

there lies an inner stamp

cleaving end from need

  and there

       & then

we go down

  we look down

we walk       we touch

              we talk

we speak    up     we look

up      we look back

         we see


everywhere written

a multiverse


    — for there it is

the meaning of all is




word bridge into no man’s land

a pleasing unrest as

one parts from alone

— says yes

mouth that is not mine —


you have a body

you have a body

you have a body


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