Art Appreciation

I never wondered how a canvass felt,
grown thick with paint and staring. Here I am:
one compact body, celebrated in
a private viewing. He looks reverent –
so much so that I scrutinize myself.
I seem all there, equipped with standard parts.
And yes, I rotate smoothly. But I must
be overlooking something, for – such awe
in one man’s fingers. Following my scar:
an oddly fattened zipper, opened thrice
for sundry babies. He imagines it.
I ought to tell him that it tingles there
(the nerves were damaged) but he seems content,
so I forget to. Ribs, just hinted at
beneath a slip of muscle; you would think
he’d found a couple extra. Calloused hands
touch nipples, gently. Till I want to say,
“I’m not that fragile.” But I don’t; he’s spelled,
and this is not the time. Besides, his eyes
look up now, reaching for me, and –
oh, we’ll talk later.

Kathryn Jacobs

If you have any comments on this poem, Kathryn Jacobs would be pleased to hear from you.