After the Final Skin Graft
I awakened on my belly—my back a raw field from nape to heels. New
lawn the kids couldn't play on, thickening
Jello which mustn't be moved. Even the sheets kept away,
draped on a wire Quonset, a heat lamp curing me like wheat.
The burn unit was suddenly explicit: the doctors I'd thought
were cruel were actually kind. No more scalpels
lurked behind their eyes. And I saw the curtains, benign
cascade of secular flowers, the plastic wall, dimpled
like a plucked goose. I would never be whole.
My coal-dead fingertips were wrenched from the bone,
my arms marbled like salt-meat, but I was no longer stuck
on the chum of my back. The turn from torture was light
particles clearing from mist. I drank cup after cup of Red Rose tea,
lifted to the taste of mountains, bitter flush
of the world I would re-enter like a wind-drift seed.