We all look funny naked
We all look funny naked. We are
rolls of flesh, stacked together like
binders in an archive. We have written
our own files.
We are all shrivelling mushrooms
of white, brown, freckled skin
and soft slabs hacked together by
some snickering deity.
When we turn in front of mirrors,
sucking in our weak tummies
and puffing out our questioning
chests, someone’s laughing at us,
but tenderly. We’re not detested
for those funny things we’ve come
to carry as bodies.
All limbs are flailing, helpless
as an appendix multiplied
and when they pause to consider
themselves, there is no sense to them.
Our arse cheeks are the false smile
of a snotty homeless child.
The folds beneath them, ridiculously askew:
one leg is always longer.
Some parasite is playing hockey
on our knee-caps. We stretch all
hairy parts out in the sun,
hoping to suck life into that wide,
We’re all looking for our own
immortality when facing that
mirror’s edge. Hoping to see a god.
There is dying flesh, but are there
no signs it once was forever?
We dip a finger into our navel:
right here, there’s one.
We see no god; just a casual miracle,
a capsule made with love.
The old lady lifts a sagging breast.
What is it to her? The sick man
traces his ribs, one by one, and sees
a starfish opening in his chest. She
paints a smile under her nipple.
All the little girls and boys are pointing,
mystified, then laughing for help.
We all look funny naked, and we
are out of breath from finding out.
Even wriggling your toes in the
deep, hot sand is a comedy. What
a joke to be alive and be mortal!
No face, even rotting, could be stern.