Skin by Najood Al Terkawi

Posted on February 10, 2013 by


I know that you’re tired of trying to convince people that the shadows in your head are real. They wander your 5-track mind and your movements suggest that you’re giving in to them. Your thoughts are spent and you’ve lost yourself in the cycle of the four seasons. You are the only person I’ve ever known to make symbolism of your own nightmares. Your lips are the doors to a world only you dare to speak of by whispering it into a bottle and throwing it into the bottomless oceans of your subconscious. This story won’t end well for us, unless it’s rewritten. You say that type of talk is a two-way road riddled with broken and abandoned cars.


“My skin is cold asphalt, with no lanes, but so many limits,” you say.


No, your skin is paved with the talents of prodigies and the untold stories of artists and poets who ever dared to be different.


Skin; the scars upon it fight to define who we are. You are an angel that hides the scars on your back from when you lost your wings. Let me cross the borders of your skin and admire the sound as it reaches beautiful crescendos.


These words I write deep into your skin, turn the pages of our story across your chest, and run my fingers down your spinal cord like the leather binding of a book that holds our crumpled pages together. To understand the world, I must understand your skin; every curve, concave, and naked part of it.


You say your hands are empty but I see maps that go on forever, drawn into the lines of your palms. I will tell you that I see starry night skies in the canopies of your ribs and that your heart is a compass pointing to the invincible ideas that make you so delicate and yet so indestructible.


There is a fine line between insanity and genius, but dare to tell the world there are 10 colors in the rainbow instead of only 7, even when sanity begs to differ.



Being a permanent resident in your own skin scares you most of all. I wish I could put a stop to all that causes you pain. My darling, my heart and soul, the dreams you’ve woven are the magnificent bits and pieces that complete me. You’re every original idea that creates a masterpiece.



I’ve got rhymes to your riddles, dictionaries of your emotions, and an umbrella for every day in between the peaks. We’ll fill every lexical gap with words made of vowels and syllables of our own. Time will be spent discovering what wonders lie upon one another’s skin, what makes the other gasp and sigh. We’ll be immortal with physical sensation.



You tell me you found both the love and anger within yourself, in me…that I am forever your Yin Yang. You can love and you can loathe, as can I. It seems we are at the mercy of each other and ourselves. Speak of your pain before it speaks of you. Roll up your sleeves and let me trace up and down the skin of your arms, until I find the vein that leads me straight to your heart. Sell your soul to a beautiful mind, and shed every inch of your clothing so I can leave the evidence of my own skin on yours. I’m envious of every force of nature that gets to make contact with your body before I.


They say that a smart woman leaves before she is left. If that is so, let it be known, here and now, that I am the greatest fool of all. Leaving you is like leaving my skin behind, tangled in the unfamiliar bed sheets of a stranger. You’re so complicated, like an encryption unsolved and I…a selfish being searching for infinity.


Once you make peace with the idea of secret thresholds being crossed, great walls being torn down, and your skin being as vulnerable as a book in the rain, you and I can grab a fresh pen and paper. If you let me penetrate beyond the surface, you can share my own skin as your canvas, your magnetic force, your limitless opportunity.


You swear that your skin is scarred up and raw, but find it in your heart to understand this simple truth; you may walk the world and erase your footsteps as you go, but the scent of your skin will never fade from my clothes. I will continue to follow the shadows of a fleeting fairytale affection, and court nostalgia with every breath of energy I have left. I will show the world the tattoo on my tongue that says “Never Again”. For you, skin is nothing but a build-up of flesh that mimics a fortress. As for me, it tells my story. I’ve tasted you, read the words you don’t say, listened to the chords your skin plays. I’m compelled to say that between everything and nothing, I found something…

Posted in: Skin