Scales by Debra McEachern

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You were a dragon scale,
not a stone
I bumped up against you, though
And banged my nose
Stubbed my toes
And bruised just the same

Proving that I was tender somewhere
Your bruises are on the inside
Calcine and self righteous, hardened cysts
Of tender bruises that cannot find their way
Prisoners of the self contained

Where is the fantastic ointment, the salve, the balm
To put you to right?
You would think yourself lucky
You would be glad of it all
If you only knew what I know

Those beastly years of tender youth
So iridescent
Like the scales of a dragon
Not knowing what they were riding around on
A charred residue remains,
A particulate shroud, shape-shifting
Long after the dragon has flown off
With the scales

2009 D. McEachern