The body does not exist because
it is being looked at.
The body is for doing dishes
in a sink full of water,
scrubbing the eggy rice
burnt onto the pan yesterday.
The body is for
slipping on the ice
crusting the stairs
on the way from
the car to class.
(Falling can be an expression of joy;
your bare hands, your bare face burned by the snow.
Lying about falling can be too.)
The body needs fried eggs & salad at 10 AM
& needs to read poems on the toilet with
the door open to shit them back out again;
needs tea in the morning, but no caffeine,
& three aluminum bottles of water each day.
The body is for rubbing cream
on its own cracking & bleeding knuckles,
squeezing the fifth pimple in the Pleiades
forming on its forehead, and rubbing
antifungal foot cream between its
fourth & its littlest toe.
The body is not beautiful.
The body does not need to be
a beautiful man or a beautiful woman.
The body harvests rusty reishi from
mushy fallen trees, clicks hats &
tea cozies together with knitting needles,
& with sore fingers presses mustard seeds
into the still frozen ground.