American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Poetry

Billy Collins

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

— Billy Collins, from “On Turning Ten,” The Art of Drowning. (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995)

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