Fine Print

A biker in the checkout line has cursive
on his arm: He has removed our sins as far from us

as the west is from the east. In purple ink. His skin’s
like parchment from a calf’s cleaned hide: soaked,


dried, stretched, then scraped with a crescent-
shaped knife. Treated with lime to make it accept

the writing. All my nights are like papyrus,
drenched in tears, a wash of disobedience

staining my blank ease. How craven,
wretched, wasteful I’ve been, trusting the sad

needs of flesh, endangering the small animal
of spirit. And yet, a hungry lion

on the veld will prowl elsewhere
if the wind shifts. Save my skin, dear wind.

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