Scar Tissue

Forty-ninth and Chester, cheap light-blue fluorescent lights,
dusty ceiling fans swimming up more dust, cracked flood-
worn floor, musty mop top in the washboard sink, Lou
working graveyard shift for my father's father, then my father.
Let me show you, as Lou did, the long skinny corridor behind
the dryers, the thick rusty-looking gas pipes that run the floor
every three feet. Give me your hand and let me show you how
easy it is to trip, to burn your arms and hands on the pipes
in front of us. Now, lie down like I am, next to me, look over
me at how Lou's inside one like a mechanic, half-in, half-out:
boot, sock, shin, pant, how he seems to ignore us. . . Do you see
the twin scars on his shin,dark pink rings inches apart, shiny
and smooth skin held in place, no nerves glowing where hair
refuses to come back? Take my hand. I want you to circle the
numb wounds, I need you to feel the nothing inside too.

:: Alexander Long, Light Here, Light There (2009)

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