Poems

Through Security

I take off my boots because of their steel shanks.

I take out my orthotics, place my coat and purse in the bin,

place my carry-on on the belt. I take off my shirt, my jeans,

my bra. I take out my contacts. I take off my makeup

and earrings, strip the dye from my hair. I relax my stomach

to its honestly protruding shape. Still, it’s all over the TVs

about me. I’m buzzed again as if there’s been no progress at all

since the club-carrying, the dragging-by-the-hair. I take off

my skin, veins flying like ropes, organs dropping away

one by one. I address the additional matter of bones:

unfasten ball from socket, unhook ligaments,

leave the electronic eye no place to rest.

I am almost ready to go, if I could quit

thinking, the thinking that goes on

almost without knowing, the tiny person

crossing her legs in the back

of the mind, the one who

says, “I still love you,

dear guilty flesh.”

—from Reunion (2007)