Against Desiccation - Poetry Gong #11
Exoskeletons contain rigid and resistant components that fulfil a set of functional roles including protection, excretion, sensing, support, feeding and (for terrestrial organisms) acting as a barrier against desiccation. Exoskeletons have a role in defence from predators, support, and in providing a framework which musculature can attach to.
Skin turned inside out
eyeballs hanging from bloody wire
too gruesome for pancakes, too soft-bodied
to complete even a simple morning routine
though she is flat
as gluten thinned on a griddle.
Like an earthworm ravenous with rain
mothers step from kitchens
hands blistered and peeling
holding out casseroles to ghosts.
Find (dig) the family in the (a) hole
lost in the folds
of an incomplete exoskeleton
pliant, shriveling, gathering in upon
itself—an apron, an artifact, a defense
against burnt offerings, faulty cocoons
entrails refusing to exit. To join,
to crawl under, live among the tissue,
fossilize before the soft parts rot
requires a desire to change, a meeting
of cells, a declaration of kinship.
Enter in your own mouth, see skin
and eyes, hands and hollow bones
molt the unnecessary, feed on what remains.