I tried to care about the body
and for it, with amber lotions & creams,
with red scarves wrapped around the atlas
and other cervical vertebrae,
for color, or, in winter, for warmth.
In summer, I tried to wear shoes—
Open-toed, to paint the nails.
Still, my feet wanted grass, water, rocks,
sand, the trunks & limbs of trees.
Finally, late in life, I punched holes
in the lobes of my ears & hung jewels
& glass beads there, but it was no use.
I could only love science & the soul.
But your body, oh, yes.
Your body I loved.
Kathleen Kirk is the author of five poetry chapbooks, most recently Nocturnes (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012) and Interior Sculpture (Dancing Girl Press, 2013). Her work appears in many print and online journals, including Arsenic Lobster, Eclectica, Fickle Muses, Menacing Hedge, and Waccamaw. She is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life.