Self-Portrait as Cathedral
I am hallowed ground. Sometimes I feel
I have been shaped by the hands laid on me:
fingers conjuring the specter of beauty from
swirling vapors. The sculptor coaxing the body
from hard marble. Existence following notice;
existence following admiration. Existing after
existence. Hands tracing stippled flanks, the lone
birthmark anchoring thumb to hand. A nose that
indicates provenance. Skin grown thick from pressure,
every knot tied by a blunt instrument. For so long,
fighting against this form of protection. The choir of scars
reaching its refrain in summer: full-faced, reckless in
bare air. Shoulder-blades slicing wind currents, buttressing
carried burdens. A wingspan you could coast on for miles.
Showers like holy water, hands like a blessing. The hymn
of praise lilting in the background, enough to sustain
blind faith. I love your body, he said, and I think
he meant it. I like to think they all meant it.
Nina Sudhakar is a writer and lawyer currently based in Indianapolis. Her poems have appeared in TRACK//FOUR and Rising Phoenix Review; for more, please see www.ninasudhakar.com.