If only you were the pure self,
we would not have to bargain or pray,
offer up good deeds for relief of pain, or
apologies for spasms and expectorations.
The cells could absorb and discharge at leisure.
Whatever waste washes ashore in the brain
or in the heart, would, without shame,
increase the one being. No struggle to justify,
no explaining we’re really much better
than our hunched back, our protuberances,
just the material presence, occupying space,
insular and detaching, floating away
for a day on the sea’s silver face, returning
to endless pleasures of the anatomy.
Roselyn Elliott is the author of three poetry chapbooks: The Seperation of Kin (Blueline-SUNY Potsdam 2006), At the Center (Finishing Line Press 2008), a nominee for the Library of Virginia Poetry Award, and Animals Usher Us to Grace (Finishing Line Press 2011). Her essays and poems have appeared in Abraxas, Diode, The Cream City Review, The Florida Review, New Letters, Harpur Palate, and other publications. She has taught writing at Virginia Commonwealth University, Piedmont Virginia Community College, and the Visual Art Center of Richmond. A former Pushcart nominee, she lives in Charlottesville, where she teaches at WriterHouse and does private tutoring.
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