How could skin kept this soft 
get so dang thick?
I’m one big, rough-worked, callus really. 
But slathered up with cold cream. 
I moisturize and manage
and emphasize the supple parts
even though I’m forgetting

how it feels to be tended to
all tender like.
I’m awfully bristly to be so soft.
Like a fuzzy nettle beckoning fingertips
and responding with a slow sting
when you rub it the wrong way. 
I ought to be more leathery 

but I smell like marshmallow root 
and I will use a word like velvety 
without vanity and seize softness 
in a hard world, even if it’s only skin deep.