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The Masseuse: A Poem

Hands don’t touch you.

Not arms, not elbows.

Something else leans over

while you lie face down

in painted sheets.

A presence you must trust

or else shrink in shame. Because

your body is alone like a branch

that has fallen from a high tree

into the river. It is now at the mercy of

the flowing of waters, laid bare before the elements,

where the sun and the moon prevail,

two eyes regarding all that passes.

You are blindfolded,

rolling beneath the gaze,

your skin touched to the bone—

it is easy to become hollow,

to turn,

by moments,

more invisible.

But you must not, shall not.

Masseuse is molding you into a whole self.

You will wake tremulous, an aspen enlivened by wind.

As you rise, she is sage smoke, desert gust;

she is gone.

-Written for me by the lovely Celia


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