Naomi Shihab Nye--1952--
Skin remembers how long the years grow
when skin is not touched, a gray tunnel
of singleness, feather lost from the tail
of a swirling onto a step,
swept away by someone who never saw
it was a feather. Skin ate, walked,
slept by itself, knew how to raise a
see-you-later hand. But skin felt
it was never seen, never known as a
land or the map, nose like a city,
hip like a city, glaring down of the mosque
and the hundred corridors of cinnamon and rope.
Skin had a hope, that is what skin does.
Heals over the scarred place, makes a road.
Love means you breathe in two countries.
And skin remembers--silk, spiny grass,
deep in the pocket that is skin's secret own.
Even now, when skin is not alone,
it remembers being alone and thinks something larger
that there are travelers, that people go places
larger than themselves.
Naomie Shihab Nye gives voice to her experience as an
Arab-American through poem about her heritage and place
that overflow with a humanitarian sprit.