Putty-white like My Father's My Skin

Matthew Baker


begins at birth    and iron-tinted I’m sure                                                                                                                at four    a hole half-dollar    wide and    filled
with rocks right on the knee    gravel    and blood                                                                                                     a farm road    that’s where we were    the whole group                                                                                            of us    Ian Muldoon    he pushed me    down                                                                                                  between    the paddock for the horses                                                                                                                        and the milking barn    with all its pumps                                                                                                            near thirty    the scar hides    beneath dark    hair
my skin marked    in other ways now    tattoos
thick beard    freckles    even on my palms    one
darkening    and widening    above
the other knee    body’s outer clotting
devices    in full force    plaque too within
every system    pumping me    to the brim
until    no trace    of my original    remains

Matthew Baker currently lives in Reno, Nevada, and attends the MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of Nevada, Reno. His poems appear in Yemassee Journal, Elke, The Meadow, Clover, a Literary Rag, and Fourth & Sycamore. Follow him on Twitter at @mmbakes.