Poem 152

for my dear friend in a world made of paper. best of luck.


twenty less pounds

Don’t take my hunger

Fill me instead with fistfuls

Of soil, make me fragrant

Weigh my body with earthsod

But make me weightless

Trim my waistline—beautiful in

The space that I am empty

Make me ephemeral

When I move, know my shadows

Take my longing, but please

Leave the hunger, the will to eat

Handfulls of petals like a reptile

Make me scale-less—take the lines

Of my skin and smooth me slowly

Like a topsheet—on a freshbed in

the evening:make the light from the street

cars seem organic, make it whiter,

with the glow of my new skin,

fill my pockets full of happiness

make it opium: sleep addictive,

wake me when I’m famous,

and the whole world knows my

loveliness—knows my nose bridge

but not my heritage, and the heart

beat of my lover is a whisper

I invented to cure the silence

Make him incredible but not so

Impossible that I never know him,

make my night-dress something hapless

that I untie with my dosage

and remember I was young once,

young and hungry—don’t take my hunger

just fill me up and sew me tighter

make me thin.

—ECW

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