How many layers of skin do you need between your toes?
Where the larval form of Strongyloides makes its first contact
tracking the heat and odor of your feet with its sensors
and applying its proteins to the edge of
you, your lipids and migrating cells
All of the borders are closed. The crawl rate
of those that move
the over-edible body surrounded by its teguments
and still, there is a distance at the heart of all flesh
through which the narrowest creatures arrive
through sheet after sheet of keratin and cholesterol
and into your bloodstream and then to your lungs, and when
you cough them up, like words, they cannot remain
in your mouth so you swallow them back down
into your stomach where they feed
off the flow in your intestines.
Almost twenty – that’s the answer you’re looking for.
All there to protect you, but not to keep you pure
so who would know how many times they have been
until they reach maturity and shed all their eggs
into the space I thought you were saving
for the homeless, the strung out
even the dead
and never enough to do either.