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