A dermatologist must be the world’s
best lover: those hands hold my face
in the intensity of a gaze unmatched
by any other visual suitor.  My face,
my face.  Fingers walk across brows,
a magnifying glass exhumes secrets
that I hid from everyone on eyelids
now naked to the eye, revealed by
plows turning over epidermis, furrows
made visible, friable, according to farmers
who can see right through solid soil,
who can see how to make earth yield
and comply.  My eyes, eyelids, brow,
bone, cheek, eyelids, chin.  Skin Man looks
harder at my soul’s mask than anyone,
peeling off layers, cornices, shades,
showing off the real me, now rid of
the public facade, one foolish face
undressed by one wise face who knows
what the skull confesses, easy pickings.

Mary Kennan Herbert


If you've any comments to offer, Mary Kennan Herbert would be pleased to hear from you.