I miss your skin

the planes of shoulder blades
layers of muscle overlying them
the trapezius sweeping up to the base of the skull
and down to the tenth vertebrae
like a wing pointed inwards
on your back
and attached to bones

more and more in clinic
I pull out Netter's beautiful drawings
and show people the bones
and that the bones are not just floating
in a sea of muscle and organs
every bone is attached to muscles
to tendons to ligaments
together in an elaborate
working system
and if one muscle is torn too loose
or tightens to protect itself
and heals scarred calcified
too short
it pulls on the other muscles
and tendons and bones

I miss your skin
your muscle
your tendons
your ligaments
your bones

and all the rest

under 300

and all the rest

of you, disheveled

wind in your hair

greying, your eyes

blue to my blue

I miss your skin

tan against my freckles

then whiter than

all the clouds

where birds fly

I miss your ears

deafened by music and

smoking and genetics

you listening to me

you asking the time

I miss your scars

your wrinkles

your hands your feet

forever this lasts

I miss your skin


I miss your skin.
I miss your eyes. Your hair.
Your voice. Your jokes. Your laugh.
Your hands.
Your muscles, siniew, tendons, organs--
Your tongue, nose, ears--
most of the soft cartilage.

But it had been months,
And you were beginning to decompose
And I couldn't just let you rot away,
Disappear into nothing
As though you'd never existed.

"Become the Earth" they'd said.
"Ashes to ashes" they'd said.
"A better place" they'd guessed.

I couldn't let you go.
Not entirely.

I miss your smell.
I miss your skin.
But at least I have your bones,
Still safe, piled in the basement.
Where they belong.


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