About the poet
Catherine Byron is an Irish poet who often collaborates with visual and sound artists. Her first...
Writing on Skin
You urge me to use my blunt nail on your skin.
Just any word. I can’t think, then start ‘V’ -
a downstroke. Lift. Another. The drag of skin
under my index finger. ‘E - I - N’.
There’s nothing there to see. Invisible ink.
Like when, a kid, I was into lemon juice
for spy stuff, words that dried unseeable
and needed a flame to turn them sepia.
...eleven, twelve... you’re counting, and now ‘VEIN’
is burning through like on a polaroid.
Thin rosy weals on the parchment of your wrist.
The word I’ve chosen, written in my hand.
from The Getting of Vellum (Salmon/Blackwater Press, 2000), © Catherine Byron 2000, used by permission of the author and Salmon Poetry
Sponsor this poem
Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.
Catherine Byron Downloads