What impossibility shall we assay today?
Assay (I had to look it up): examine for analysis.
(How one wants to rhyme it with paralysis!)
Look at all the separated business of the body:
all its funny looking parts, the skin that wrinkles when
you crook an elbow, finger – bend your lips into a smile.
Think of arts for which some seem to have an aptitude,
a style for turning awkwardness to graceful use: say,
signing to the deaf, or masturbation, or the way
that twenty-something deli counterman is slicing up
that tubular perfection of a thick salami into thin
translucent slivers. Flesh gives me the shivers.
But I would die before I’d let another set of eyes look
on upon this grimmest enterprise: the public revelation –
my god, manipulation! – of my unlovely body parts.
Last night I dreamed my skin had been divided
into asymmetrical geometries: Sharpie outlines
slating for removal by a surgeon all of what beneath
them had to go. To be cut up like sturgeon for its roe?
I don’t know. What impossibility in all the panoply
of oddments (that purportedly add up, when
I regard them in reflective glass, to me)
should I examine for analysis – assay?
(Paralysis.) No way.