Home > Poetry > Naked
Published: Sat Jul 1 2006
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.

Once stripped, there’s no
going back. The hanging
man can’t be unbroken,

undone from the gallows,
wounds bathed in wine
and tended. Nail can’t

be pulled, nor thorn. He
hides power, no seam
to unravel, no cloak

to unpin. He’s almost
composed in his skin,
arms stretched to touch

each one who inches
to the edge of what
is and falls in air.

Annie Boutelle is the founder of the Poetry Center at Smith College and teaches in the English Department there. She has published poems in various journals, including The Georgia Review, The Hudson Review, AGNI, and Poetry. Her first book of poems is Becoming Bone: Poems on the Life of Celia Thaxter from the University of Arkansas Press. Her second, Nest of Thistles, won the 2005 Samuel French Morse Prize from Northeastern University Press. She is the Grace Hazard Conkling Poet-in-Residence at Smith College. (updated 10/2010)

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