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eyes upon wide this world, our visitor
without a claw
only a reflex,
a fist to close on a finger
that isn't there,
telling me you need Yoga
because daddy never noticed.
At ten you were a sugar freak.
At fifteen your mother starved you
because your breasts were too big.
Now you fast and love the Swami,
peck at fruits, grams,
hungry all the time.
The body hangs by its feet weightless
in the Headstand, spirals in the Twist,
opens into the Lotus, Cobra, Plough,
Locust, Bow, Bridge;
a spectacular view of the labial crest
in the shoulder stand.
Meditate on a point between the eyes,
candle flame, or rose,
the wavering self: a handful of bone,
the blind unwinking navel.
Holding the soles of the feet
a pleasurable warmth
up through the body.
Somewhere in darkened rooms women lie gnarled as roots.
The doctors whisper, "sigh, sigh",
and they sigh.
and they breathe. Over and over.
Needles pricking the old grooves. Scream!
Un coil. "Give it to me give it to me
give." Veins on the neck stand
thick as chains. Rings throttling fingers,
gold watches tick on swollen wrists.
The spine arches
"Good," whisper the doctors, "you're
Back to the mouthing
of the warm wet eye?
Where did they put the child
who wanted to suck her thumb
who sucked sheets and socks and humiliation when they put
the bitter alum on her fingers--
who won't suck a lollypop now?
Shattered, put together,
you are here,
standing on your head,
passed through the hands
of many men, like water,
like Rama's Sita,
proving her innocence
in the fire.
Your lungs gnaw air
you are filled, emptied, filled
and you move off
Taos, Nepal, Bay City, Windy City,
heading east by west, with the others
looking for a place.
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