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ISSUE:  Autumn 2000
Nothing had warned me of this
follow of a line, the honeyed
reach forward of a shoulder, rib,
a body arriving into the mirror.
I’d never had curves before, just
the fickle, straight figure of an
almost-child, all stops and edges,
elbows, tinny bones like false starts:
next to you, it’s become something
else, more my own, untold.
I am learning to see myself
sweeping, sinuous, coming into
the shape your desire takes.

—Is it enough? What you’ve come to want of me,
want me to be now occupies, renames
my stolen body. Those warm and
well-known curvatures are not mine.
I grow heavy with your
aging wish, the pale and sunny hours
of your future, so kept and solitary,
so wrought with love it makes you
helpless. You’ve waited so long
already. My belly swells
luminous with its only absence,
swims with a promise yet unasked,
unanswered, hard as bone.
It is beautiful as they say, all
milk and translucent where it kicks.

For now it is perfect, this roundness
between us: no more small silences run
sharp from use, no need to press ourselves
torn into angles, negotiating space
where we do not meet. When we lie
side to side, we fit closely, without effort;
we are no longer careful with each
other, our separate bodies, as we wait
for the breaking already beyond us.
The distance we touch across grows
full, circular, unspeakably rich.


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