Archaic Torso

From the German.

Since the head is nowhere to be seen,
you can’t meet the unanswerable gaze
of its ripe eyes, but a low burning stare
held back in the torso still flickers.

Without it that fine pectoral arch
wouldn’t blind you, nor the hips’ slow smile
curve its way toward the creative place
in the centre where everything begins.

Then the thing really would be defaced,
slumping its shoulders in plain sight
not glistening like a wild thing’s pelt

or supernovaing out of itself.
That’s its look, and not an inch of it
isn’t watching you. Now see to your life.

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