Just when the body thinks it knows
the ways of knowing itself,
this second skin continues to answer.
In the street – café chairs abandoned
on terraces; market stalls emptied
of their solid light,
though pavement still breathes
summer grapes and peaches.
Like the light of anything that grows
from this newly-turned earth,
every tip of me gathers under your touch,
wind wrapping my dress around our legs,
your shirt twisting to flowers in my fists.
— Anne Michaels, from “Flowers,” The Weight of Oranges/Miner’s Pond. (McClelland &
Stewart; First Edition edition, April 5, 1997)