By Christopher David Hopkins
The first time I dipped
the point of my finger
into bleach, I learned
how pink my skin is.
It is always like this,
never knowing softness until I dry out
and crack open, never knowing
myself until this blister-kissed
print is the only texture I feel.
We give thanks for the grace of granola
and ramen, the foam cup that doesn’t burn
in the microwave. We give thanks
for the strength of the hinges
in our bedrooms, the door lock
that doesn’t break. Praises be
to the parking lot, the warm
concrete that teaches us to cover
our feet, that teaches us purification
by blister. To the softness of sheetrock
beneath our knuckles, to the salvation
of a broomstick on the roof below us,
we give thanks. To the radiator’s welcome
shudder, we give thanks. Blessed
are the hungry, for they shall salt
their stomach’s wounds. Blessed are you
when they bruise you and bloody your nose,
for you shall learn to bicycle
and not be weary, to dinner at the dollar store,
to love the taste of iron dribbling down to your lips.
Christopher David Hopkins is a poet, a North Carolinian at heart, a graduate of the MFA program at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a recipient of the 2016-2017 Nadine B Andreas Graduate Assistantship. Recent work is out, or forthcoming, at Bayou Magazine, Beloit Poetry Journal, Copper Nickel, and Tar River Poetry. Host of the Tour Grind interview series with Fear No Lit.