A novelist's view of people

Peeling off the glamour

People who are not me
have a hard, blackish-red glossy surface, a carapace,
like a large bug—
perhaps the beetle of Kafka’s imagination, perhaps a palmetto bug (flying cockroach).

These glossy surfaces, reflecting light and bouncing it around, fascinate me.
They are glamorous—
not like my everyday tired, freckled skin
that has hairs and pores and funny scaly things all over it.

These carapaces make anyone who is not me unassailable in a way I will never understand.

But I am curious,
so I try to get close enough to rub my two right-hand fingers (pointer and middle)
over the smooth crisp surface of the carapace .
Underneath, can I feel pain?
Lust, or deep contentment?

I want to peel back the layers that must be there,
because no one is born with a carapace.
 Just look at a baby, with a hole at the top of his little head.
He is open to any chance grazing swipe of a hand.

I want to peel the layers.
How many are there?
How deep do they go?
But I must not do this.
No one wants their glamor destroyed,
and I am only curious.

-----Sara Tusek, December 2016


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