87: The Space Between Skins Is Called A Wound

March 26, 2019 · 5:00
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The Space Between Skins Is Called A Wound
by Julian Randall

So I guess that’s my name now
I am progress
in the way a scab is progress
this is what it is to be biracial
conceived as a thin peace
the body’s fragile truce
To each well intentioned finger
my body is just a precursor
to an unremarkable red

People ask what are you?
and my skin parts
eager to answer
what my mouth
can only rehearse
everyone falls in
curiosity killed the gaze

In this way I am something sinister
a shadow cast by a name
in the right light I am everything
I’m nobody’s ideal horizon
I’m nobody’s ideal
I’m nobody
or too much of everybody

I’m a kind of excess
a gold chain greedy for the light
a fat shiny river around the neck
in this way    I begin everywhere
and nowhere

I speak no Spanish
I mumble    every word
is a translation for exile

I make up for it
I throb near oceans
I speak inheritance fluently

“The Space Between Skins Is Called A Wound,” from REFUSE by Julian Randall. Copyright © 2018 by Julian Randall. Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.