May I never be afraid 

            especially of myself 


to the lights on 

the cream 

            walls each morning, confidential, they sing 

truth. Take sips I remember 

            The glass rim lipstick-stained by a hundred 

old ladies before me,  and myself,  

                             pressed and reflected 

            in the pink skin  

                                         that leaves abruptly

                                         every twenty-eight days 

but served me well into 

                             its own darkness— 

stuck hardened and dead, and happy,  

                             I hope  

                             Take comfort in


of healthy skin, how it all 

                                         comes together 

strong as a circus tent 

held up by red and blue 

                             cutaneous vascular plexus, sensory 


yes, I need 

all of these things 

                             I do 

            count my tiniest blessings

                                         hard bright specks of me, 

the misunderstood glands 

                             deep and purple-hued 

            a kind body