There’s another skin inside my skin
that gathers to your touch, a lake to the light;
that looses its memory, its lost language
into your tongue,
erasing me into newness.
Just when the body thinks it knows
the ways of knowing itself,
this second skin continues to answer.
In the street – café chairs abandoned
on terraces, market stalls emptied
of their solid light,
though pavement still breathes
summer grapes and peaches.
Like the light of anything that grows,
from this newly turned earth,
every tip of me gathers under your touch,
wind wrapping my dress around our legs,
your shirt twisting to flowers in my fists.
Tonight a Buick’s our bedroom,
cold wind off the lake muffled by closed windows.
Thirty years ago we drove through dark mountains
on a narrow road, as if under blankets with a flashlight.
Three days and two nights to the sea,
past grain elevators leaning against the horizon
like the heads on Easter Island;
under the stars like ibises
swooping through mangroves.
Thirty years from our wedding and still
we’re sleeping in cars. Still
awake as the moon; foreheads burning.
Anne Michaels, The Weight of Oranges/Miner’s Pond