Beneath My Skin

Friday, I went to the dermatologist for a little Botox
but came out of her office with scabs
on my face where she scraped away cancer skin.

Saturday, I counted backward by threes while walking
the dog back home. I quizzed myself, worrying
the whole time about—what’s that word for memory loss?

In my insomniac-middle-of-that-night moments
I wrestled with the notion of being mother to the groom,
questioned my trade of studio lights for 3 bed? 2 bath?

Sunday, I struggled to wake early, but looked over
at my coffee-bearing husband in his boxers and T,
then managed to slip into church clothes.

And in my middle-of-the-morning moments
when the priest read about Lazarus, how the Savior said:
Move the stone, come out, take off your grave clothes,

I saw the stone-carved orbs of the crucified Christ
statue looking down to the pew where I knelt
from and for and to the Lord uncovered.

—Cathy Allman


BIO: Cathy Allman teaches creativity workshops in Connecticut. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in many literary journals, including California Quarterly (CQ), Caveat Lector, Crack The Spine, The Critical Pass Review, Off The Coast, Pearl, Pisgah Review, Sanskrit, Talking River Review, and Terminus. Visit her website: