Body of a Woman

It’s like a chair strung with ornaments,
a canvas stretched across an archway.
It’s a white T-shirt waiting for ink,
sidewalk squares for children with chalk.

It’s the brick wall behind a smoke shop
on 3rd East, painted into the Virgin Heart.
It’s a white ball of worsted yarn,
guitar strings and the violin’s bow

the air that the voice compresses
photo paper stacked in the printer’s tray
the Earth before land or tree or ocean
before rain and the light it can split.

By itself a woman’s body is nothing. Nothing,
the way a blank page and pen are nothing.

self portrait_18

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