Image of a Man

Ouch. I felt pencil pricks
along my skin, inching
with patient precision,
drawing the axons from
my nerves taut, electric.
The excavator pressed
my flesh, touch cool as earth
and graphite. Lymphatic
limbo surrounds me so
empathically – the quiet
desperation creeping
around as my feet reach
for the ground – gravity
found me and I settle
down at last on the firm
cool earth and graphite.

Aroma of stone wafts to my
nose as my infant breath was drawn
into my fresh paper lungs, the
doctor's tender caress on my
chest resuscitating, drawing
animation to my heart. The
thin air smells sterile, alcohol
and rubber, and everything was
black, blackest pitch in that ditch of
external emptiness, stark and
unyielding, until those first two silver cracks…

My eyes were weighted as with stones, locked closed
under pressure from the inquisitor,
peeled slowly open to this cold white world:
this featureless asylum save for a
window to my right and the Earth outside.
Gravity and air, nerves, heart, and eyes; what
am I made from? Little graphite stain so
young, at first exposure already so
eager to avoid erasure, asking who am I?

Hammer and nail, the soft
creator's hand over
my head and all faces
turn toward me. Your eyes are
windows to the soul, mine
are the pathways to God.