concerning the body

photograph by Francesca Woodman

when in a pinch, go to the body.

MY. BODY.

YOU SEE THIS?

PERFORATED LOOSELEAF RECYCLED DERMA BODY

WHO NEEDS PAPER WHEN YOU HAVE SKIN

THIS
BODY

THESE ECHOES
SEMIOTICS OF BLOOD

Distribute cells like religious literature traveling door-to-door
or bed-to-bed
or mouth-to-mouth…

Call it intimacy called art called plasma called sex called kiss

Called lonely
Called misunderstood and forgotten.

Oh.

Tell me.
Tell me
Does this
shirt make me look
FAT

Does this
hair
make me look
FAT

Does this
Does this
poem
make me look
FAT

Tell me.
Tell me
Does this
FAT
make me look
FAT

Convince the body
that outside, a sky chews on skin

DID YOU KNOW…

Three calories are burned when toilet seat is pushed back into its natural state.

Fifteen minutes of laughter melts away three bites of carefully digested chocolate bar.

And semen, primarily water, boasts of its trace amounts of almost every nutrient our body needs
and contains only five calories per serving!

The liquids extracted from a woman:
Calorie free.

On a Sunday,
I go for a walk
in Prospect Park
and notice a skeleton
doing sit-ups.

Blond haired complexion,
breaths thicker than the skin collapsed over her bones.

I watch this skeleton with a belly ring but no belly
move up and down,
grabbing at skin, invisible and grey.

I watch this skeleton in black spandex
and pink tank top
and pony tail
and ankles the size of wedding rings
count to herself
—lips moving—
each
crunch.

one.

DID I EAT TODAY?

two.

I CHEWED ON SOME THOUGHTS….
NEVER SWALLOWED…..

three.

TODAY,
I AM GOING TO FIND OUT WHAT A SIZE ZERO FEELS LIKE

four.five.six.seven.

wait: size zero?
How can anyone fit inside a number that means
nothing at all?

I walk away because I cannot digest this
skeleton of a former body
attempt to create a six pack of lines
on skin stretched too thin to understand.

I wonder about the length of her mirror
misunderstanding her shape.

I think about the strength of corpses
and tally the distance
between weight and beauty

Hello…………body.

I know,
I have bothered you with sharp implements,
strangers’ hands mishandling you

I have stuffed you into over-priced bras and denim

Called you feminine
then, changed my mind.

Called you masculine,
strapped down and hidden.

Called you beautiful,
then attempted a runaway.

This BODY
Lineage of entrails
Gendered bloodline

This BODY
Got confusion
Got alarm
Got discoloration of sex

This night grows thick
and love looks best on scratch paper.

So, we try and scratch ourselves away and watch what imprints remain

Moon,
if only I were not so afraid of heights;
I would climb up there
push your neon strip between my thighs
and whisper inside your pockmarked skin:

love me. love me. love me.

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