I spent a lot of time today.
I put on stockings
. . . . . . and I never do that
And when I laid myself down on that long white canvas,
she traced my body
in all the fine details I liked and admitted
and those I could not see.
And we laughed and remarked
all those points in between where my fingers jagged
and how much I liked the empty slopes to be touched.
and how the pencil had a way of making points and triangles
where there were none.
The first time I tried this exercise
was in the 3rd grade.
There was no ginger navigation,
there were no points no hips no breasts to avoid.
And Timmy, did a fine job, and didn’t make my head too big.
Timmy with a beautiful brown birthmark
on the side of his cheek.
I called it Jupiter’s spot once.
He blushed and took it as a compliment.
When my outline was finished, I rolled it out
and hung it on the wall
And I began to affix things to it.
Scraps of poetry, beer caps, pictures,
Miniature snapshot flashbulb memoirs,
Tiny swatches of time I inhabited
Meaningful, in all probability,
only to myself.
Once my body was full of all that I was
I hung it on the wall at school for all to see.
I existed for a time in two places.
And it was disconcerting to see me everyday like that,
People looking at those scattered pieces of me,
I felt naked and under scrutiny,
but I grew comfortable.
And that one thoughtless boy,
One of a string of so many like him,
I caught him pressing my profile
Waiting for a class,
I had to ask him, If he wouldn’t mind so much as to move
. . . . . . .
I’d rather he read me,
than lean on me.