Life Drawing
Jennifer Gillespie

The ground in this spot is a North Carolina fingerprint,
you believe: rubbery, damp, and hollow. When you jump
to prove it, I follow your quick bounce,
know there is sort of a valve under earth,
though my feet feel so heavy on the return.

You like to walk ahead of me;
I’m already tripping on the next stone.
But for once in my life I don’t feel the need to face
a synergy from feet and words,
eyes even—you rarely open them for me, and when they do,
crooked and dirty green, alight somewhere near my hair
I don’t remember

what my face is, the strained poses of the mouth, or my body,
how it curls itself for you, head between knees waiting for your eyes
hoping they will fall and feel the way I’ve breathed on to my own skin
for so long. Still, these frail searchings, all just lost sketches
for life drawing, when it comes time for you to look at me.

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