What do we do when we hate our bodies?
A good coat helps.
Some know how to pull off a hat.
And there are paints, lighting, knives, needles,
various kinds of resignation,
the laugh in the mirror, the lie
of saying it doesn't matter.
There is also the company we keep:
surgeons and dermatologists,
faith healers and instruction-givers,
tailors of cashmere and skin
who send their bills for holding
our shame-red hands, raw
from the slipping rope,
the same hands with which we tremble
ever so slightly, holding novels in bed,
concentrating on the organization
of pain and joy
we say is another mirror,
a depth, a conjure in which we might meet
someone who says touch me.
Tom Healy was raised on a farm in Mount Vision, New York. He earned a BA in philosophy from Harvard University and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. His first collection of poetry, What the Right Hand Knows (2009), was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Award and the Lambda Literary Award in Poetry.
Of Healy’s spare yet evoca ...