Always covering myself

in clothes or cloaks of words

which only dogs hear: in truth

I was nude and didn’t know

which parts to cover or if

I could finally uncover it all.

And what a relief to move

my hands, formally, from

my breasts, testes and labia,

to show myself, for what I am –

a worm or perhaps just a cell

which may birth and split from itself

and wish you could see

all my secret hairs

revealed like words

or the meanings of words

which always seem concrete

in dreams but never when I awake

and quickly cover.



First published in the American Poetry Review, July 2013