at times, my heart seems made of skin
bared for breath or covered for protection
reacting to ever-changing boundaries and limits,
sounds and space,
climate and condition.
soft and pink,
white at the center when gently pressed,
blanched in panic when squeezed too hard,
and, when set free, pink and pooling as safety is restored.
soft mostly, but also
callused where worn,
scarred where cut,
evidence of healing where bleeding used to be.
gooseflesh at just the right gust or whisper.
tightly sealed for protection,
or weeping in times of fever, times of pain or burn or blister.
each one durable, pliable, paper-thin,
each blood-red at the center.
it curls over me, around my skull, down my spine, stretching to my extremities.
and then, at the certain place, for the certain person,
staying soft and smooth as fingertips trace its edges.