Woman, look at this body you have created.
Look at the skin you’ve caressed,
the skin you’ve scrubbed raw, trying
to feel clean again.
Woman, look at the face you’ve examined
so many times
through the looking glass:
the bump on the bridge of your once-broken
nose, the indentation of chicken pox
by your right eye, the lips you nibble
till they crack and bleed.
Woman, look at the shoulders
you’ve stooped and straightened
and tensed. Look at the arms that reach out
and that carry, the arms that hug your rib cage
to hold yourself in.
Woman, look at the scars,
the trenches and valleys you’ve torn
or not accident,
raised and red and tender.
Woman, look at the hips
where you have perched children
and clothesbaskets. Look at the belly
that aches and rumbles,
shrinks and grows.
Woman, look at the legs,
knock-kneed and stubbly. Look
at the feet you drag and shuffle
and blister, the feet you thrust out
in practiced kicks.
Look, Woman, look close and long
at what is real.