The Body

Some days I like to sit back and watch my own life
unfolding, as if I am in a movie theater, curled up
with a soda and a plate of nachos. It is in this
velvet seat that I watch the woman who is me and yet
not me unfurl her legs and cross easily to the door
to welcome a visitor. She is taller than I remember,
and thinner too, with the glinting appearance of
an antelope, all wide soft eyes and battle scars, and
I can see how people might respect her or hate
her, the path decided on a turning instant. Whatever else
she is, she is not graceful. Her voice is nearly
steady and so are her hands, but no matter how hard
she tries she can never control either, and I wonder
why, absentmindedly scratching her mosquito bites.

There are times when I hate her, hate her stubborn
curves, hate the tiny surgery scar on her eyelid
that itches at the worst times, but mostly I love
her, especially in the moments that bring us back
together, like when someone’s hand traces
her backbone, each vertebra a comforting
rosary bead. Better yet, I love her in the first
moments of the day, when she opens the front door
and her skin pricks, cool as mountain air, its
gentle movements circling me back to center.


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