“forced feels” poem by Emma Wilson

forced feels

poem by Emma Wilson

peelings

on the table must be brushed off

with a quick hand and collected by the other.

roughness

of orange remnants must be scrubbed

with equal roughness. calluses scrape the surface,

fingernails knead dirt

in the kitchen and the garden.

*

other fingers need my skin

to trace

the latent architecture of bones

and make patterns of

raised hairs on the back of an arm

that once seemed out of place, a violation

of form.

now things are clearer

and they compose a landscape

simple like sea-grass

that flutters and glistens

as warming whispers move across it.

*

i miss the feeling of the stucco wall

from which we plucked daddy-long-legs.

struggle is natural to them, their limbs scarcely

attached to one another;

they pulled themselves

apart in my light grasp.

i ran my hand along that wall later –

when the insects were gone –

i didn’t think of you. i thought of braille.

i found a furtive pleasure

and didn’t wish for meaning.

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