Poem 102

on attempting to resign
from out the water a chill comes swiftly
clumsy, pull the buttons from their holes.
wrinkled fingers-numb-tug zippers, I am
shivering shivering shivering cold.
once wet, once the fibers have drunk
their full they bloat, heavy-sopping weight:
a responsibility bestowed by values, my
inclination to be decent outweighs comfort
but I am cold; the air a downy cashmere,
what creeping suspicion dons a lust…
nude and prickling; skin dries quickly
unburdened by cloth. I begin:
tearing away layered submission,
the seams stretching with every pinch
wringing handfuls from my limbs, twisting
elbow and shoulder to tease off sleeves;
unburden the pant-legs one knee at a time.
the zipper–sharp and frigid–a toothey razor
bargaining briskly against my palm.
pants gather stubborn about my ankles,
the misfortunate curve of feet idle my rush.
one for balance the other a rough shake.
undergarments rolled down wrinkling
popping suctions desperate to maintain contact…
after some negotiations, I am stripped – the air is keen.
as it should be, after all that time cloaked security
a barrier, however gailing once I took to my unveiling
textile trauma shocks the senses. I am still…
vulnerable still. silent still. acute my sensations,
naked but sturdy, bare but solid, simple yet standing
conquer not fear but embrace doubt. Resist the
urge to mask my body… let the evening wring me out.



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