Dan Chiasson (2007)
It is impossible to state just how in love I am
with my own body, the white snows of me,
the sudden involutions and crevasses of me,
my muscles tensed or slack in anger or fear.
This is why, wherever I go, I am in Lincoln’s dream.
A sentry stands by, the stairway is eerily lit,
light is a little milk splash on people’s faces,
the faces of my Cabinet, grotesque and funny masks.
Who is dead in the White House? I demand. Who’s not?
answers a soldier, pointing to a shrouded head
on my own body, encased like a gangly insect
on the catafalque, and the loud sobs wake me up.
Reader, when you caress yourself in the morning,
amazed that you are made the way you are,
sure that yours is the finest body of all,
remember, you are Lincoln having Lincoln’s dream.