Skin on Skin

nude in the desert framed

Lest you be led astray, this poem is not about “Hot August Nights” or “The Fire Down Below.”  My apologies. Regrets also to millennials onward for antiquated references.  What can I say.  I’m antiquated.


I settled down in bed for the duration
Of the hot sticky summer night.

The long-haired Ragdoll cat
Whom I usually love
Took this as a cue to melt
Into my body, becoming one with my hot, bare skin.
My discomfort awakened the skin-close emotion
That had surprised me earlier
And I rolled away to a more comfortable place

Until morning.
Now I remember yesterday,
When the telling of the story transported me
To the raw experience of utter aloneness
Where the skin of the emotion touched the skin of my soul
Awakening memories embedded in healed scar tissue.

At last the re-living wears itself out
And I leave the story behind,
Grateful for a faithful soul-sister 
Who vigiled with me in the hot sticky
Dark night of my soul.

c. rita h kowats
August 14, 2015


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