The delicate operation of stretching a too
thin skin over the lip of a drum
the wood hollowed out by trials falling like sharp rain into 
the grain of a person's being,
carving out an empty space where the vascular bundles 
of their emotions used to ebb and flow.
If you pull too hard the skin will break
the carcass of the drum will gather water emptily until it rots 
from a lack of purpose.
Pull too slow and the skin becomes limp and heavy
stretched loose and incapable of sound 
slumped into the barrel of the instrument like a discarded sleeve.
Leave the job half done and it festers and stinks 
plant and animal matter melded and discarded
fading out together with nothing left to scavenge.
A paradox of intentions where everything
produces failure
until you realize it is the skin at fault and not
the sinews of your arms.

The End

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