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The shedding of anything isn’t easy. Letting go of all that has been built up Over time, Under pressure, Through something As simple as cells flaking Or shells cracking. Molting away what was Once perhaps needed to make way for what must needs come.

It has been months of letting go when holding on became too much. Giving back to the earth, the universe, perhaps somebody’s god who wasn’t mine that which wasn’t of my making in the first place- though I claimed it anyway.

I have lost weight- through the absence of food, through the putting down the things I have seemingly always picked up In doing so, I am lighter I am lesser.

The face in the mirror over the sink Is different now. The neck, appearing again. The face, less round. The eyes, less bright. Hinting at something lost along the way. Some essential thing.

I find myself starving Ravenous for touch. It is a kind of desperation- skin hunger A thing I could not name or claim Until my belly was empty My mouth parched For the absence of it For its need.

I am missing what is touch adjacent What touch brings. Sex, perhaps. Intimacy, yes. Warmth, inevitably. The wrapping up of me In the otherness of some other.

I don’t necessarily miss sex The unraveling of one’s being Into the essence of someone else. I don’t miss that which comes after. The nakedness of it all. What I miss is the something to fill the hole dug out by time by loss by grief by life. That something is warmth provided by another when the warmth I carry is not




slm is a lifelong educator and learner, lover of language and student of text/context.


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