Sometime during my hospital stay, they exchanged
my skin for clear packing tape. It does the job:
it holds me together. Sometimes, if I’m wearing
the right clothes and and I find the strength to force
a facsimile of my old smile onto my face, you
wouldn’t notice the difference. And
because it holds me together, things still
function as they should. My lungs still take breath,
my limbs still move. I cook dinner. I shop for groceries.
The washing is done, for the most part. I talk.
I move through life because life
is still there to be moved through.
But look again and you’ll see it. I am flayed open.
Loss pounds through my veins, colours my blood.
The plastic only contains, it cannot conceal.
Even a stranger can see that the essential parts
of me are damaged now; it’s obvious with
every throb of my battered, breaking heart.