Greetings, Albuquerque! – A Poem by Kenny Fries – (L)INK: The Write Disability

Body Language
By Kenny Fries
What is a scar if not the memory of a once open wound?
You press your finger between my toes, slidethe soap up the side of my leg, until you reach
the scar with the two holes, where the pins wereinserted twenty years ago. Leaning back, I
remember how I pulled the pin from my leg, howin a waist-high cast, I dragged myself
from my room to show my parents what I had done.

Your hand on my scar brings me back to the tub
and I want to ask you: What do you feel

when you touch me there? I want you to ask me:
What are you feeling now? But we do not speak.

You drop the soap in the water and I continue
washing, alone. Do you know my father would

bathe my feet, as you do, as if it was the most
natural thing. But up to now, I have allowed

only two pair of hands to touch me there,
to be the salve for what still feels like an open wound.

The skin has healed but the scars grow deeper-
When you touch them what do they tell you about my life?

from the book “Anesthesia: Poems”
(Avocado Press, reprinted with permission of the author)


Kenny Fries (Toronto) is the author of The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin’s Theory, which received the Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights, and Body, Remember:  A Memoir, as well as editor of Staring Back:  The Disability Experience from the

Inside Out.  His books of poems include Anesthesia and Desert Walking.  He was a Creative Artist Fellow of the Japan/US Friendship Commission and the NEA, a Fulbright Scholar to Japan, and a recipient of a grant for innovative literature from the Creative Capital Foundation.  He teaches at Goddard College.

You can hear Kenny 7:00pm at the Cell Theater (700 1st Street) for OUTspken’s feature, open mic and slam—for a suggested donation of $5.
Plus catch him 7:30 pm Friday Night May 11th at the Outpost Performance Space $15 or $10 members.
He’ll also join the morning discussion about performance and presentation strategies at 10:30 am at Tricklock’s New Performance Laboratory on 110 Gold–he’s been lauded by the United Nations for his work.  And he’ll be one of three keynotes 2 pm Saturday at the Main Library downtown.



Much Obliged,

Rich Boucher