The Fit of Skin in the Present Day–from the archives

There are new words coming today, I promise.

This piece is about 20 years old, but it still works well for me. Lots of pieces don’t make it three months before I find it hard to own them. I haven’t always dug this piece as much as I do these days. It helps that it’s one old friend’s favorite.




Like the books on my shelves

that I’ve never read,

I feel loved, albeit useless.

Like the corpses that line

the cemetery, dead,

I feel like I’ve passed my purpose.

Not depressed in the least

and never bored

I feel something like listless,

as I sit at this desk looking for

meaning from the words,

which will break down

the walls of my numbness.

To locate origin,

this must the first step be;

what caused this effect,

this ennui?

Was it separation from God,

if only by rooms—

because even displeased,

His will in me moves.

Was it getting a foot

on the path of this life

and having to overcome

intimidation despite?

Was it the solitary way

that I laid down my head

when I went to

the pillow each night?


The actions of the boy

from whom I borrowed this skin

sometimes haunt me in the now.

I want to cry out,

to say that I’m not him;

yes, but to prove it, how?

When I look like him

and talk like him

and smoke cigarettes

in the same odd ways.

How can the inhabitant

of this skin, in the present’s then

be different from the one

of the present day?


I’ve taken this skin,

without question he gave,

and stretched it out of shape.

I’m well because I am

and I refuse to not be

now that I control my fate.

I’ve taken the mind,

which he used like a fool,

with all of the accompanying prides,

and I’ve filled it with

spirit and factual tools

with room to spare inside.

I’ve taken the soul,

most precious of all,

and headed it to the right,

conscious of action

and the moment’s toll

on the all of forever life.

So now it won’t fit

if he wants it back;

it will wrinkle

from gaps in the seams;

it will hang on him loose

and leave him looking unkempt—

he always hating such

as much as me.

And he’ll feel old and look old,

act old and grow old,

boyhood to grave with nothing between,

false youth to no youth,

learning not what I’ve learned

nor seeing what I’ve seen

So, though we may look

and talk the same

and hold our smokes in

the same odd ways,

there’s no way the kid

who wore this skin

could be the man

I am these days.


Thus, a culprit is found

in the midst of this lull,

a jealous boy who seeks return

of that which he can no longer hold

due to the lessons he never learned.

But from his desire I take aid

for the moment’s malaise,

and I see where to find my soul

when it’s gone away.

All I must do

is see its lack in the past

to realize its presence

in the present day.

2 Replies to “The Fit of Skin in the Present Day–from the archives”

    1. It wasn’t one I was huge on, and then a friend told me it was her favorite. That makes so much of a difference. It’s forever old, ‘99 I think, and it’s more true now than it was then, except I don’t smoke. Glad you like it. Love ya.

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