Looking at my Arm for the First Time

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse04 Sep 2016

Down from a cross-
Scarred infancy,
Hairs are brambles
On scrubland,

Wrinkles dried-up
Watercourses on Mars
Or in a desert;
A delta of veins,

A freckle, down further
To pale fingernails
With thin crescents
Of yesterday's dirt,

Knuckles of folded ape-
Skin and the shade
Of a child's accident
Across three fingers.