From the thousand responses of my heart, never to cease.
—Walt Whitman

I note the wreck of bodies all around me—ridges of cellulite
on thin thighs, breast implants gone astray, puffy wrists
and elbows, permanent brow furrows, the right soft hair
in all the wrong places, hair that’s missing. In the sea
I cup a jellyfish in each palm and think of breasts,
how on women and men they are rocks to grab onto
as the sea tries to drag you out.

My friend told me once that he loved my skin,
that it expressed my freshness, my full heart.
But it’s changing each day in this brutal sun
as I sit with my favorite books, freeing the poet, crossing off
lines of her poems so instead of begging him not to leave
she ends with, I am alone. I must discover my heart/against rock.

At the Playa Piedra de Villazar we square-danced in the water,
and I scraped my ankle on submerged rock. My skin,
my heart, against rock. Not being alone, I didn’t really notice.
Did you notice the way I grabbed your chest
when we faced each other last? Piel, corazón, piedra.
I am alone. I must cross off something. Free
someone. Note the wreck of my body rocked.