It’s hard in this chair, inside
this tough new shape he chose
forhis eye to follow through the charcoal,
for my self-desire to look at what l’m like.
The floor is covered with earlier versions:
working out the lengths and angles
and turning the curves. Nearly
the right face, the wrong me.
l’m the real me, the onedrawn up
by committees of brain, heart, genitals:
inside-out ideas of skin, matched
against the approved image.
And I love my neighbour, the one
upstairs inside the wardrobe mirror,
with the skill to fill out my chest
by kindly failing to see its hollowness.
But I need a frame I don’t walk away from.
I can be a trick of the light, with luck,
trapped by a lens. You can find me
somewhereon a piece of paper.
With my skeleton stuck into the pose,
he looks up, and reveals me:
dumb effigy, Narcissus, a body
outside myself, looking in.