Gregory E. Lucas
The Eczema Man

your back
covered by scales,
your once handsome body, eczematous,
marred by countless welts, every day at noon
you walked behind dunes in a bathing suit, hoping the sun could heal.

Summer —
sunlight weakened.
You were gone.
On the South Carolina shore
winter winds swirled sand where once you were.
Reddened waves broke toward gold, the mottled crests mimicked changes to your skin.

the sea —
and your return
to lonesome walks behind dunes
(that only partly hide you) and to ocean
waves — where the salt still stings worse than hoped-for cures, elusive forevermore.