Friday, May 13, 2011

The Swan

Each morning I remove
a burial cloth, my skin
so much
the better for its pain. Each
tooth is unwrapped, too—
small brown mummies
emerging bright as Chiclets.
I perform
all requisite penances.
I do it for acclaim.

I dive under
steam towels, gels,
cold seaweed.
I swim towards the image
you have offered me of me.
I will swim and
swim until
I slip into Her shell,
rise up
from the waters,
an exalted thing,
my errors
swallowed, my image
flattened to perfection.

--Kristen McHenry

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