You’ve always got the look

of an outsider on your face

A burnt stump in an open sky of sand

Your smile a curve of a forgotten road

Your eyes a frosted windowpane

– always the outside, the outside

You live your second-hand life

– retold, missed, compared,

painted pink and gold

Your friends are but canvas

and oil on hushed walls

Your songs a funeral prayer

And you may shed your hair,

your clothes, curve your tongue,

your back, bend your knees

But I see – still – the desert of your face

that lost look, that lone stump –

a shadow travels on the waves of sand