From My Legs as they Dissolve

Love me love me love me
they say from under the sheets
where you collapse in exhaustion,
from inside the denim sheaths
that dye them blue with indigo
that washes down the drain
with soap when you shave them

Love me love me
look at me in the mirror and
dance with me
they say
Look at all of me they say
in all our fragility and ache
all our thickness and richness
our alabaster and our juicy
our cankles and deflating pannuses
all our bruises and lumps
the battered nerves and numb spots
causing traffic accidents
on all these interstate maps
of our visible veins
all our translucent clarity
in this city of support
we provide you daily
free of charge

love me love me
they say
sometimes we can’t hold you up right
and when the myoclonic jerks
scramble your signboard lights
you grit your teeth and grip us
in the bathtub to stop the writhing
and our knees are turning to jelly
because the hard-ons of your collagen trees
are going limp in the forests of your cells
shooting their loads off in fast motion
until they lie panting and threadbare
in this empty clearing where the light
glows through your skin
and the lumberjacks are coming
to take away all this dead wood
for the fireplace of your sputtering heart
and you didn’t dance with us enough
when we were young and virile for you

When we held you aloft
after you’d slain the beasts
of your first and second battles
you walked victoriously through cities
like a funk samaurai in your torn velvet coat,
with your head in the smog
and your perversely flat elf-feet
bulging out at the heel-joints
with their sideways-curling toes
traversing continents of pavement
with easy Amazon strides—

You always knew we were different,
like all of you,
strange in body and mind
a patented design
too delicate for this world
and full of time-released
land mines

But today, just love us
Look in the mirror and see us
in your shorts and naked jujube toes
that you painted the color
of oil-spill dragon skin
for the lover
who loves the way they curl
around him or anywhere
when you’re happy

the lovers all loved us back
they didn’t mind when we got fat
as hot air balloons,
swollen and dimpled
with heavy cortisol soups
of inflammation and distress
until you no longer recognized us
and avoided fitting room mirrors—
they still caressed and kissed us
when our skin grew thin,
and they offered their arms
when we stumbled

So love us too
Own us
Slap your cheesy hashtag love-stamps
on us and selfie us together
in indecent poses

Dance with us in the mirror
Show us your curves and pallor
Bare these blue-marbled pillars
Love us in all our strangeness

Love the damage and the history maps
the buckling knees and rippled topography
the silver marks where your child spread us—
the bruises that show where you fell today
or bumped into the furniture
only remind you
that we still are holding you up

And even if someday we can’t anymore,
if our lights all burn out and falter
we’ll find new ways to love you
we’ll plug into the earth for you
and transmit the sun in waves
through your soles

Love me they say
and dance with us
in the kitchen today
as sunset fills it
before the curtain falls

© Psyche Marks 2017

* (Zebras are the symbol of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and related connective tissue disorders, a condition I have).

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