Poetry Contest: An Encyclical on Cosmetology

by Samantha DeFlitch

I am infinite,

cloaked in memory.

My eyes have watched nations rise and fall, my ears
heard the owl cry at midnight. Upon the mountains,
calloused feet walked in moonlit splendor.

I have arms that nurse the sick,
lips that comfort the dying,
a body that holds the bridge between worlds.

A thousand thousand tales burst beneath my skin:

I have seen the northern lights dance
across a vast, unending sky,
joined a hundred candles blazing
on a warm summer’s eve.
Snow and ice my hands have battled
while the sun set, clear and rose, against the horizon
and with frozen bones
I toiled on-

and when they thawed, my fingers
held the thurible as incense rose
through light of stained glass.

I have touched soil.
I have smelled fresh bread.
I have known life and death.
I have watched the moon rise in the north.
I have walked in frosty fields at dawn.

The things I could speak into existence!

But for all my knowledge, you only want to know
why you cannot touch my hair.


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