Tuesday Poem

The Skin Inside

Out there past the last old windmill
and the last stagnant canal—
the no-man’s land of western Dithmarschen—
cabbage and horseradish in rows of staggering accuracy
stretching all the way out to the frigid
gray-brown waters of the North Sea—
hard-hatted Day-Glo-vested workers perched high
in the new steel pylons rigging cables to connect
off-shore wind parks with the ant-hills of civilization—
I’ve got one hand on the steering wheel,
the other on the dial cranking up King Tubby’s
“A Better Version” nice and loud while waiting
most likely in vain in some kind of cerebral limbo
for the old symbolism to morph into
an entirely new vernacular—an idiom of sheer imagery
in which the images themselves have
no significance whatsoever but struggle nonetheless
to articulate the meaning of meaning—
a hall of mirrors where purity reigns
and the algorithm of death can no longer find you—
and if it’s a truth to be realized that your body is not
your own, then it must be a delegated image of heaven,
while the skin inside has a luster all its own,
reflecting back the warm glow from within.

Mark Terrill
from Empty Mirror

 

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