The discussion concerned membranes, lesions,
reconstruction and even skin grafts.
I never realized as a child
how important an organ my skin was.
Brain, heart, lung, liver got all the attention.
All I needed to do was eat right.
Who knew that all these years later
it would be hours by the pool
that would cause these lesions,
these skin termites.
When I was 13 I fell asleep
in a blazing August sun
and got “sun poisoning”.
At least that’s what Mom called it.
I lost three days to hallucinations,
fever and de-hydration.
My bed had become a raft
bobbing on a sea of writhing vermin.
The beaded eyes of the rats and the venomed fangs
punctuating the waves as huge centipedes weaved.
I remember my fingers trying to hold me fast.
If she hadn’t sat up with me
feeding me ice chips,
cooling my body with alcohol rubs
and treating my red, blistered skin with Noxema,
they say I might have died.
The small pain of the needle jab.
The pressure of the scalpel.
But most disconcerting is the smell
I can smell
my own flesh burning.