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On beauty...

Such wonderful discussion this weekend from Dettoit, mintwitch, kimberly, jodyorjen, and many others...

I'll let Natasha Le Bel stand in for my muddled thoughts on the matter with Boxing the Female




I saw myself inside again I saw
myself inside a box
which had no bottom, front
nor face only
sides, four, closing
in at right angles and me
crouching low
within the dark
interior
I saw myself inside again I saw
myself a box inside
which kept me as I
grew and grew
too large and round for this or
did the box continue
to shrink and tighten
into a passionate
claustrophobia
I saw inside again myself I saw
a box inside myself
I was open
and unclothed without
hair or
shadow to hide my
feminine geometry
which molds and holds
the woman I was then that I am
now
but it was so so dark where it was bare
where I was
uncovered lying undiscovered there
fragile and awkward in the iron emptiness
I began and I
begin
coming out of myself again I am
coming into my form
my born body new and
gravid with musical sensuality
strong and proud
from deep inside this box I am
no longer kept I am no longer
held as precious token beauty
nor quiet prize nor secret pleasure I am
my own ugliness
outside this dark hard fist
of walls and corners crushing
my living mind, the blooming
human pattern of my chemistry
through pouring rocks of ferocious
silence
that you impose I will
turn over
my bones inside my skin and
shatter
these walls with my song I will sing
my ripe real me out loud
with body and heart and brain
all beating against each other
in a heightening of passion and I am
opening
this box for you for
myself I am the naked light inside
.


Natasha Le Bel
from: The Best American Poetry 1996
copyright 1996 by David Lehman
first appeared in Hanging Loose

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