“Letter to My Body”

Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 9:51 am

“Letter to My Body”

Philosophers shilly-shally, but it’s true: you are me; I am you.
This dust, these rays, this strange internal sense
that after all these years, I finally exist — all of this
is only mine through you.

You still seem surprised – that’s part of your charm –
that I wish to be extracted
from your handsome bindings.
This, you say, is only the beginning,

which is why it feels like drowning
in what we’ve both survived.
Ever the politician, I say I’ll be your widow,
smiling cheerfully as you die.

Not yet, you say, as though
— this is the other part of your charm —
you still believe in time.
Violent laughter, yours and mine.

Let’s go out into the woods
of meaning and matter, among the laurels and the mustard,
the unlit suns and unnamed branches, listening shoots and loosening leaves
we only appreciate when we’re drowning

in one another. Let’s break up before we meet
and fall in love again
in the darkening parlor of the heart,
let’s wait for God in the gathering dusk

and watch the stars come out.


Reprinted from “Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics” by TC Tolbert (Editor), Tim Trace Peterson (Editor). Poem Copyright © 2013 by Joy Ladin. Used with the permission of the publisher, Nightboat Books.

Share Post

Contributor

is Gottesman Professor of English at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University in New York. Her memoir is called Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders. She’s also the author of seven collections of poetry, and is currently the recipient of an NEA fellowship to write I am What I Will Be: Reading God and the Torah from a Transgender Perspective.

Share Your Reflection

Reflections

apples