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On Learning to Look

I glance out the upstairs square window, which has an old-looking gold latch and would swing out toward me if my work table weren't packed tight with jars of baubles and buttons, fabric scraps and books stacked in a lopsided pile. This room is mine, cluttered and full of potential. I sit on an unforgiving chair, knees to chest, press my face near the cool glass to squint and absorb the sun as it sets.

I wish it were closer.

This morning in the shower, I noticed the sharp bone that protruded from the side of my knee this summer, gone. Looking down, the curve of breast and thigh. I'm sure that desire and appetite are lovers. Sure that reading is a hunger for connection. Sure that writing is the best way to be real. I feel real and fragile and brave, like I want to cry or call out or uncurl, relax gut and neck and legs, let go.

I am not fast-thinking enough to capture this time in stories. Instead, I want snapshots, or poetry strung like vines winding around an image. Sometimes I use words like bricks. Sometimes I use them as a type of nakedness. My muscles are coiled like ropes. Unwind me. Learn to find me in these words.

How do we learn to look at ourselves? (Practice in the mirror).