wounded without the pleasure of scar.

If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.

Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.

Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbor to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler’s wife.

I could hardly glance at you
before marriage
never touch you
— your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers…

When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said

this is how you touch other women

the grasscutter’s wife, the lime burner’s daughter.

And you searched your arms

for the missing perfume.

and knew

what good is it

to be the lime burner’s daughter

left with no trace

as if not spoken to in an act of love

as if wounded without the pleasure of scar.
You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler’s wife. Smell me.

–by michael ondaatje.

i get the chills every single time i read this. and i’ve read it HUNDREDS of times.

One thought on “wounded without the pleasure of scar.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s