Susan Bee and
Barbara Duarte Esgalhado

Susan Bee
“After Rainfall”

By Barbara Duarte Esgalhado
Inspiration piece

Cicatrix: 1. a scar resulting from formation and contraction of fibrous tissue in a flesh wound.  2. a mark resembling a scar especially when caused by the previous attachment of a part or organ as: a mark left on a stem after the fall of a leaf or bract.
Webster’s Dictionary

Start at the edge
use a fingernail that’s long
enough, to lift the edge
of crusted flesh
cloaking a healing wound.

Keep working at it
pick at it, slowly
so you can minimize the pain
that comes as you flinch
when dead skin is torn away
from flesh that remains alive

Keep tearing at it
a little at a time.

Work your fingernail down the length of it
pry it loose, you’ll wince
and flinch some more
until the skin just hangs there

— just hangs there –
midair — looking for a place to land
and disappear from your memory.

Look for fresh cut wood
remember that aromatic cedar
preserves and keeps away useful creatures
that gnaw away, help disintegrate and
facilitate decay.

Remind yourself that you don’t want to
preserve any of the remains.

Choose pine instead
it’s softer wood
slice the wood into planks
shape it into a coffin of sorts
simple lines are best.

Nail the planks together
lay the memory inside
already mummified
in the murmur of your heart.

Hammer the coffin shut
put it in the ground
surrender it
to the swirl of the earth

this is your goodbye.

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