in spite of what i might have heard about you, body,
i sank down between folds of skin and hair follicle
even when i only tried to quell the murderous quaking
in my heart ensconced in desire divided.
this is not a poem about my body.
who was that body. who was that person.
i slammed my palms into skin and the elasticity
proved to me we were still kids.
there was hope for this.
we could recover.
“bounce back,” is what they say,
as if we were rubberband balls,
all convoluted and twisted
(though of course we were).
and how are you supposed to tell your child
one day she will hate her body and that there
is nothing you can do about it?
no ointment, no salve, no words strung together
to explain to her that we are all rotting alive.
now you tell me what is beautiful.
i walked over my own body without recognizing it,
ignoring the scars and even the tattoos,
finding strength in cellulite because
“everyone’s got it, hon”
and you can rip the story right out from under
the skin and no one will ever know it’s yours.
your dust is my dust is her dust is the world’s ash.
but we are not dust yet. so press your ear
against my chest. and listen.