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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,

vast white.

 

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.