my skin touched the skin of a martyr

My skin touched the skin of a martyr

many years before. I was trying to protect him

from being attacked. His glasses were broken

into his face and his blood was on my sleeve.

That jacket still hangs

in the back of my wardrobe. I had forgotten it was there

but when I heard went and checked.

It’s old and worn out and tight on the shoulders

and speckled with dried-in black blood.

I washed the blood from my hands

when I went home that evening

and forgot all about it for twenty five years.