Dear Body

rose frances

5 th Millennium BC
Romania / Rose Frances

Dear Body, gazing in the mirror it is you
that I behold with thankfulness.
You have been faithful these forty years.
With only a sore knee at puberty, some intestinal
rumblings before authority and teary outpourings
in the face of love, have you occasionally
asserted independence, disapproval, disregard of me.

Nor can I seriously object to the lines in your brow
that reveal where I have been thinking,
or to the downward curve of your mouth
that indicates grief I have carried since birth.
Your nose I thought too wide, has lengthened with time
that forces decision, and your white thighs
that frightened me, console me through darkening nights.

What good shoulders you have, I admit;
your soft breasts amaze me, and curving mortal hips.
When I see you naked so, still scarcely known,
I wonder, have I not served you well enough,
neglecting, depriving you of proper lovers--
the surging, languorous caress of bluegreen ocean,
the wild and powerfully exacting dance.

What a different story had I lived for you,
my devoted, solid, healthy Body,
with your hands of a potter or a surgeon,
strong enough to gather grain for a life of simple
satisfying eating. What patience you have shown
this lethargic, sedentary, moody being
who borrowed you, she claims, for higher reason.

Sitting waiting, while she thinks and dreams,
craving only quiet spaces, beauty in which
to lose herself on ever longer, more voluptuous
and deeper journeys, you must be a saint.
With your delicate, hyper-sensitive nerves--
painstakingly cultivated by erratic Mother Karma
who one moment forgets, the next grips violently,

so aware everything irritates or gives you
overwhelming pleasure, ecstatic wicked Body,
maniacally driven from one unreachable extreme
to another, isn't it obvious how, torn
between joy and terror, you became a poet,
passionately vibrating instrument, house
of the certain yet doubting, ever shifting eye.

Earthbody, brief spouse, what a strangely
inconvenient marriage. Yet you are my only
true support. And though you may never
fathom what I secretly am, may you--
who accepted the nature of existence itself--
stay with me in your lovely halo of death
till I depart, dearest Body, my slave, my queen.

Her Magnificent Body