(Photo credit: This poem was inspired by the work of French artist, Antoine Josse.  https://www.facebook.com/antoinejosse.art/)


The skin he was in was thin

He pushed it and pulled

Tried to make it grow

Until he felt a tear

And had to let it go.



He attempted to cover the spaces

Between rejection and regret—

When he enclosed the part

Where his lungs inflated

He left a draft outside his heart.



And so it was with his brain

A battle between shielding

The place that ran the machine

Or encasing the tenderness where she

Cut to the bone with her guillotine.



There were minutes of hours

When he thought he might live

When the edges began to fray

When he imagined the desert would be okay

When he felt a peace in having no more part to play.



“As these things—

these acrobatics of love

flipped desire like a pancake

flattening sweetness in the wake

of my girl’s talent to take

in the air where I learned my mistake,

I lost sight of the net

I hoped not to fall

but I had already dropped

at the pace of a crawl.”



He buried his lips in a glass of rocks

Tasted the whiskey

As he waited for the cold to turn hot

And he lingered as his body dried up

While a picture of her stabbed all his thoughts.



There was no way to protect it all

He knew he would lose some

Like an amateur in a brawl

But he wanted no stitches

So he embraced the bloody fall.



His skin was thin

Because he gave it away

Piece by piece and

Day by day

It was all his choice

She never tore

But in the bleeding

He could finally feel

His decent and

Her nevermore.


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson