by Mandy Shunnarah

You think your nose too big
& your stomach, too—calling it “gut”
when you’re feeling unkind.

You gasped when I rubbed
the single gray hair at your temple,
gone unnoticed until then.

& how you despise the lines
etched on your forehead, never knowing
how I want to trace them

with my lips & how I want
to lick the salt from your collarbone
fresh from the sweating gym.

Let me burrow into your heart,
curl up within your stomach, nuzzle
my way into your soft flesh.

I’ll run my fingers over the ridges
of your forehead lines from the other side,
feeling you from new angles.

I’ll prod the teardrop follicle
of your single gray hair, marveling
at the silver sheen to come.

I’ll poke your belly button
from inside, just to make you laugh
at the wonder of you.

Let me make a home in you—
see you anew each day & see that
love fills your stretch marks.

Let me introduce you
to yourself; another way of looking.
Meet your beauty in my eyes.


Art by Steve Johnson. On Instagram @artbystevej.