The Opposite of the Body

By Robin Ekiss b. 1969 Robin Ekiss
Of the face in general, let me say it’s a house
built by men and lived in by their dreams.

When you’ve been plucking eyes
out of the floorboards as long as I have,

you’ll see this, just as you’d see
the patience it requires

to render an eyebrown, half an hour
and an understanding of architecture.

When you see your body,
think its opposite: not the bridge,

but its lighted face reflecting the water,
some other city as seen from a ship—

your forehead, once ponderous,
now light as umbrellas—

still not beautiful enough to make time stop.
The pleasure in being a woman’s

knowing everything’s borrowed
and can’t be denied,

as when you take apart a clock,
there’s always another inside.

Robin Ekiss, “The Opposite of the Body” from The Mansion of Happiness. Copyright © 2009 by Robin Ekiss. Reprinted by permission of The University of Georgia Press.

Source: The Mansion of Happiness (University of Georgia Press, 2009)

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Poet Robin Ekiss b. 1969

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Relationships, Nature, The Body, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

 Robin  Ekiss

Biography

Robin Ekiss is the author of the poetry collection The Mansion of Happiness (2009). A resident of San Francisco, she received a 2007 Rona Jaffe Foundation Award for Emerging Women Writers and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing from Stanford University. Her poems have been published in the American Poetry Review, Atlantic Monthly, VQR, TriQuarterly, and Best New Poets 2007 from Samovar Press.
 
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SUBJECT Relationships, Nature, The Body, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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