Learning to love my body is still
not an easy thing. I stand in front
of the mirror and trace what is

reflected back at me: long limbs,
rounded shoulders, the wheeling
nipples that hang from my breasts,

rose-brown. I curl a lock of dark
hair around my finger and tug hard
on it. I wrap it around my neck like

a scarf. Like hanging wire. Is this
how I’d want them to find me?
Naked, suffocated from too much

hair, too much me? He tells me that
I am beautiful, that I am his favorite
address, that if he could he’d crawl

right up inside me and die there.
I don’t think I could handle it, being
a grave for two. There is already so

much. The magazines say: reduce,
erase, minimize, blur. We are not
beautiful until we disappear.

the shipfitter’s wife: VANISHING ACT