I want to remember this feeling, and this time cherish the feeling forever.
The feeling is of loving every inch of my body. The liminal parts of my body as only a fictional character would describe in a novel fraught with tensions. The obvious parts as I don’t need to define.
The tension in my smaller muscles inside my forearms. The ligaments in my right elbow are distressed, but I can see the rest of my hand work around it. Divets in the articulation of my blood vessels and phalanges. Fractions of skin meeting at the most tender parts of my body—armpit, groin, under my ear, my ankles.
Carpal sounds so close to carnal. Cue childish laughter. I keep laughing. It feels good in my throat, like very expensive champagne traveling from my body into your ear, a flute. I don’t care if these metaphors make you squeamish with simplicity. Loving my body this much is indeed juvenile. I loved running around naked as a child. I miss it. So what. You should try it again soon.
Roll your eyes. Let’s both roll our eyes. Close them first. You will find me in the fantasy of whatever this cynicism is meant to subterfuge. It’s why dreams are so much better when we can’t see.
The tensions in my scalp and face. I love these too. As the skin on my face starts to sag more precipitously with each turn of season, I can feel my hair shooting faster, like it has one last errand to run. I clench my jaw all day, spewing and retracing and holding back words, and my tongue. My obscenely long tongue. I am the monster in the fable about female desire. A tongue that could wrap around your entire waist twice, and bring you back to me so then my teeth could feel the surface of your chest. What would that feel like? I eat like a cannibal. My favorite foods are textures. The texture of intimacy, the texture of exchanged fluids, the texture of the limits of where we stop becoming solid and relent to becoming fluid.
My entire torso has never looked this good before, in my life. Not even when I was in my buoyant 20s obsessed with physical fitness. My breasts, exhausted from breastfeeding, look famished. I command you to feed them back. My stomach, willing to move in and up, closer to my heart. Now my vital organs are a pageant of farmers on equinox, excited to celebrate everything coming out of me, and what you will see is sunlight exploding from between my pubis, my spine, and my collar bone, between my armpits, and the cross section between shoulders—one dislocated, one non-dislocated—and hips. The explosion is square, and straight. I am sure that when you read my words you feel the light envelope you. I hope you do. I am that Neil Diamond song about suns and moons, except you don’t have to be a satellite. We can be inside my entire torso, all of us, together.
My butt is flat. Let’s be honest. I want to just say for the record that I know this. It is comic relief. I laugh at how ridiculous my butt is, trying to be something. It’s the nerd at the dance party who thinks he’s two-stepping but looks more like he’s finally accepted the word of krishna. My butt is a born again templar.
My legs have never been more balanced. They equalize my position in the world. My feet. O, my feet. At home, my husband and my mother both grab my feet to massage them passively while we watch television. Not simultaneously, mind you. Somehow that seems obscene. No, but they like touching my feet for some reason. I do not mind. And if you and I cannot hold hands, I will allow you to worship at the notion of where I am, marked by whether I stand or lie down, full of mercy, full of hope, drowning in desire, plein nude with so much damned feeling.