Susan Michele Coronel

I Never Knew You Had to Second Guess Skin

Walking naked through the house when
my husband wasn’t home, I leaned

against windows, bits of mandarin
& granola stuck in teeth. Before the divorce.

Before children with powdered skin
& barbed words pierced our lives. Before

the oak tree was pruned. Before the dead
raccoon suffocated in the garage.

Before our pet lizard escaped. Before boxes
of books were destroyed in the basement flood.

Before my body knew structure & sorrow,
it knew release. I was still young enough

to taste self-acceptance. Cool glass
against nipples, crumbs in the kitchen

clinging to bare feet. I never knew you
had to second guess skin. If you survive,

you look back, don’t want to change a thing.
I wouldn’t. I'd take it all—curtains billowing

against hips, dangerous slice of sun
streaming over belly, smooth wood chair

on the small of back. I can still taste cool,
speckled silver & remember how

I bent over the table to let in more
light, not worried if it could slip away.