poems to my body

Picasso, 1956


Now that I am with child, my body
has become mysterious, more aware
than I am, balancing life within
life, with calculated ease

It is retelling the story of woman,
of man. The body is asserting itself
as a force, like the ocean, swift
and changeable, enduring time

I am now illuminated
by things like my skin, its ability
to stretch akin to a breaking point
and still remain whole

As in puberty, I feel my early self
consciousness rising, the longing
for what has been hiding inside
the promise of what is yet to come

I embrace this body. I trust it.
I am a flawed sculpture of a fertility
goddess, weighted, treading heavily
on the earth.


poem to my body

I have lived within this skin, these bones
have grown as I have: infant, girl, woman
my body has been stretched and pulled,
stitched and bruised; I have carried babies
within my womb, I have been a vessel
for milk, and semen, and tears

I have lived behind my body, with folds
of skin protecting me with layers of fat,
with large breasts and hips, a shield, a
weapon, a protection against the world.

I have lived in front of it, skin taut
hollows and jutting bones, putting it before
the world as an equally different weapon,
hard and lean, challenging its strength

I used to wish that I was all mind, that my
body would just disappear. Now, I realize
it is only in the acceptance that allows it
to disappear. It was yoga that taught me
how to balance my weight and my lightness
into one energy, synergy, body and mind.


first, body

The scar is blue-black, ink stained
into her skin. He holds her wrist like paper
thin parchment, rubs his thumb over the
kanji as if feeling for a pulse, and says
tell me about this one
she does not name it, she knows he can see
the vertical mark running up her vein
she tells him it was her fifth, and took
the longest to heal; the wound scabbed over
twice before the skin accepted it
as part of her body.

She watches him in the soft light,
standing before her without a shirt, sleeved
in kaleidoscopic colour. She imagines
his sun against her tree, her ankh against
his Krishna, the canvas of their bodies
a landscape of hollows, flesh and bone,
light and dark, blood brain heart
touching his shoulder blade gently, now
she will ask and he will answer
reading the map of each other’s body
this is how they begin.



2 responses to “poems to my body

  • jeglatter

    These three together took my breath away. Thoughtful, beautiful and most of all that has been my experience with body as a woman… What does it take to be comfortable in our own skin…I particularly thought the second was masterful.:) -Jennifer

  • elaina3

    Stunning ..Michelle ..so moving ..thank you ❤

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