March 5, 2012: Bark. CWE 156

I haven’t touched or smelled bark in years, but I know just how it feels, how it smells. Bark is rough and bumpy. It can be rock hard but always a sponginess is betrayed. Bark is pieced together like skin.

My blood’s platelets are actual plates that can be used for meals and then stacked and put away in the dry sink. I have seen my blood’s plates. They are clean white china disks with a wide rim around their depressed center. They shine across a table floating under chandeliers, and they beg for fine silverware and crystal water goblets. I have served small meals to myself on the plates when no one is watching.

Small cell plates drift and glide just like the earth’s broken plates. Bark, the lithosphere, and my skin are all pieced together in a senseless pattern. We are all scored crackers waiting for something to snap us along the dotted lines until we break. I wonder if the Earth’s plates worry about breaking the way I do. I wonder if a scarred tree tends to his wounds like I do.

Bark smells like dirt, the dusty kind that moves in clouds. It smells like the dark corner of an empty cardboard box. The brown wrapper of an unsmoked cigar. The ear of a turtle. I will pack the wound that runs along my side with bark, and the poultice will draw out infection and heal over into a magnificently poignant scar and then I will know the beauty of the pain that has besotted me for my life.

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