my body, too much like
a painting to your eyes,
or a statue hewn of marble,
or maybe like a fire in winter:
always changing, but always
willing to keep you warm
as I burn, as I burn.
My body is
a thing-- pretty thing-- thing to admire;
a sweet gift you never asked for, maybe merely
some new trinket to pile upon your great collection
of things that can be locked away. And me? Who am I
if I am not my body? What am I if my body is a case--
like that which holds a violin? I’m not a violin, either,
so am I less deserving, then, of being held by you?
Must I become a mere extension of my body,
or can I remain, proudly encased by it,
hidden by it, but still not it?
May I remain myself,
like a violin encased by something
that may be opened and emptied out-- but the violin can still
exist in any other case-- just as a man can sit in his car and not become his car,
and when that car breaks down, he is free to leave it on the roadside and walk away,
and he still remains a man-- remains completely himself, car or no car-- so why
am I not myself at all? Why am I only seen as this body-- my body?--
even though there is something else within, something nameless
and formless, like a jinni imprisoned in some magic lamp,
so why am I waiting to be released by a love
that only touches
the encasement of what I am?