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Learning How

by Christine J. M. Reilly

You your own best thing
— “Beloved,” Toni Morrison

Learning to love
myself, finally, I start

with the navel - a little god
inside my bellybutton.

My body, in need of a cleaning.
My sentences, too, running out

of my body like pieces of bare thread,
or golden flaws, or little scars.

My body, made up of tiny circles
I cannot tell apart: nipple from pupil,

chromosome from tear. Cycled conversations
with my soul that have lingered for years,

flensed sentences that have been cross-hatched into my heart.

Copyright © 2011 by Christine J. M. Reilly

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