By Amanda Auchter
Like you, I am most vulnerable
under a clouded moon, strips
of dead stars. I press my hands
toward little nebulas. There is
nothing between my body
and the dark sky. I am another
type of galaxy, spinning through
the damp earth, leaf-strewn,
twig marked. But here, I am
falling in love with myself again,
with my red lips, my clean bones.
I search my skin for its own
galaxies: imperfect constellations,
little moles, faded scars
on my naked back. My body made
of nightbirds, shadow-bloomed
jasmine. This body I starved,
scabbed, cut. I catalog each place
I am touched, each place made
light. Like you, I am made of bright
dust, firmament, solar flare.
Unclothed to shoulders, nipples,
hips. Praise this beauty, how
it mends, mourns. Praise
the faithful dawn, breath’s white
fog, cricket song, arms that reach up
toward the wild, shimmering blue.
Amanda Auchter is the author of The Wishing Tomb, winner of the 2013 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Poetry and the 2012 Perugia Press Book Award, and The Glass Crib, winner of the 2010 Zone 3 Press First Book Award for Poetry.
Her recent work appears or is forthcoming at The Huffington Post, CNN, Crab Creek Review, Rust + Moth, Shenandoah, The Indianapolis Review, The West Review, and the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day project.
She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College and runs the online shop, Midnight Apothecary.