It’s All My Poetry Professors Fault

Go home, he said,
stand in front of the mirror
take off all your clothes
and write about what you see

Oh, My God, ripples from nipples to knees.

Yet the teeth are still mine
and the smooth skin
speaks of lines of grandmothers
without crows feet.

Upper arms flag
sleeveless garments.
as inappropriate

Boobs, once spectacular
still good
except for the one
where they carved away
the cancer.

I couldn’t look.

Legs, slender
on days without salt
to savor food
but veined by some
malevolent blue spider.

The thighs are thick
but I never had thin thighs.

Perhaps I will
if the cancer returns
or I live to be ninety-eight
like my grandmother
who shriveled to a size four.

She used to say,
“You can have anything in the world you want.
You just can’t have it all at once.”


Poetry Thursday