Poem in which the body is praised

last night you sang to my body
praised every inch of it
made it feel rare and royal
spoke to it the way you might speak
to a child in need of self
esteem    taking time on each part
the mouth and the tongue
the nipples and the chest
praising the severity
of the circumcision    and how I
talked to the older couple
in the bar who had been praising
my father    I’d thought my body
dull and base    I’d thought it loose
and wilted from the weight loss
but you composed hymns to it
cleaned it    bowed down before it
as though it might spare you

Andrew McMillan


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