Two Poems

Esprit de Corps

What do we ask of a body. To form an arrangement called beauty. To gather the form and send it forward. To go forward and be received. Some days I can't reach. A body draws its borders and requires. The hand closes on desire. The mouth opens for an offering. A form rising to its need. What is a body worth. What is permitted. The eye swallows what is owed. What has been will be. In the dream, I am unbound. And very. This state of secrets I can't keep. I speak and I speak. Time was, I was nothing. With a body like that. What will be asked of me. To be faithful to the ground. We've cut up and covered. To be beholden. To be seen and therefore. To be seen. 

Self-Portrait as Allegory

Within your house I am a shadow,
large against the wall. 

I speak. The shadow 
bares its teeth.  I mind my mouth. 

I sit up straight. You carve a shape 
with me inside.

Within my frame, I brim.
I writhe. The devil

you say. I turn
my head, I slip

outside—a new moon
rising. Casts no shadow.

I take my time. I whet my blade.
I cut myself a shape. 

I fit myself inside. I close 
my eyes & seal the whole

of myself. As I wish it. As I insist. 
And I don't smile. I just won't 

smile. A new light 
sifts to the surface.

I effort through     
& fill my shape.

The whole of it. I am aflame.
Around me,  everything dies.   

I move within my life.      
I fill myself.

I leave you behind. 
I leave you behind.