Jul/Aug 2009 Poetry Special Feature

Why My Body

by Antonia Clark

Why My Body

Because I've made it a temple
and worshipped at its altar.

Because I've stuffed it with secrets
and let it make me sorry.

Because it can't follow directions,
a slave to delay and meander.

Because I've tried to conceal it,
desiring the bodies of others.

Because I've scraped and scarred it,
teaching it needless lessons.

Because it's the seed of my father,
freighted with silent mutations.

Because it's the flesh of my mother
and nothing can please or appease it.

Because it burns up my ambition
and expels the ashes of failure.

Because it grows soft and loose-fitting,
mocking my ministrations.

Because of the rust and the scratches,
the ominous knock in its ribcage.

Because of the thorn in its rouged cheek,
the taste of blood in its mouth.

Because I'll always resent it
and always have to love it.


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