Kevin Byrne, Skin as Love

The Roadless Wood

I think of two roads diverging in a yellow wood
and the luck of having two roads versus none
and the roadless wood with ways unshone
and the wood without ways won.

The roadless wood is paved not, as it should.
No paths bridge its mossy flood.
No threads trodden from this place stood.
No trees calling; you could, you could.


To revel like a clock’s shocked exclamations.
To decide as its straight hands assured strike.
To wrap around time and call it right or wrong.

To be ignorant of night and day, but
To be it.
To be forever.

Oh to tick,
Oh to tock,
Oh to a simple clock.


A cut isn’t ugly. If anything, it’s clean
and precise. Even blood flows prettily.
It’s the scab that disgusts,
that craves touch like a cigarette,
that slits gasps open at its permanence —
however fleeting,
that disappears when you’ve grown
used to it, and you find yourself
rubbing just skin again:

Pink skin.
New skin.
Healed skin.

The ugly part isn’t the cut, it’s the scab.
The necessary part isn’t the cut, it’s the scab.
The part you wish for, then wish away, is the scab.
Healing is what hurts, what will, and what must.
The coarse, black, snagging, oozing clot will devolve
Back to what it made it possible in the first place.
Think skin as love

Kevin Byrne is a primary school teacher working in the south-east of the country. He holds a BSc General Sciences from UCD and recently underwent a career change to becoming a teacher. During this transition, Kevin rediscovered his love for writing and now enjoys writing across a variety of genres.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s