Does It Work?
For the woman who dares to be discrete

Unlike the vast majority of my woman clients
Who wordlessly, apologetically, disrobe
As though I would turn my heel and leave
At the sight of their real or imagined imperfections
She flings off her coverings
As if she’s waited all of her life
For this moment to arrive and expects
Nothing less than my absolute appreciation
Of her beauty.
She gets it.

The beauty, though, is this:
Although her body hardly fits
The patterned stereotype of tits immense
And hips for all intents and purposes
Slender like her waist of course
And thighs and calves and feet –
She is discrete
And I mean seat
Yourself before this
Round and rollicking female, folks
And see what joy
Abounds in woman
When she loves
Herself.

I am delighted in her presence
And share how sad I usually feel
When yet another woman cowers in
Fretting about her belly, butt, or breasts.
Joking, I tell her I’d like her to teach us
To love ourselves as we are

Serious, she says, I’d ask:
Does it work?
Do the legs walk, the knees bend?
Do the ankles turn, and the toes grasp the earth and let go?
Do the lungs take in air, and let it out?
Does the nose smell the carnation, the sea air?
Do the eyes open in the morning, and shut for sleep at night?
Does the brain remember the sounds of trains, of baby laughter?
And the hair, does it like to be brushed, the feel of fingers?
The lips, do they shape the sounds of our words, our sighs?
And the organs, do they play, night and day, making delicate
Music of our being into motion, action, deed, and indeed,
Does the heart open yet again for love,
Despite the pain and disappointment?
I mean, I’d say, Does it work?
And then I’d say, Honey,
How dare you not love your body
The one you were given to live your life out in,
Blessed by the One
Who made
Owl
Redwood
Turtledove
Hippopotamus
Snake
Whale.

From Memoirs of a Sometimes Mad Masseuse by Jess River
Rain Straight Down, Box 401, Mendocino, CA 95460

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Poetry

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Email: liz@embodimentpdx.com
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