PANEGYRIC FOR SID

Fall 2006: Issue 80

Patrick Phillips

The belly.

 

The belly

of the boy.

 

The glowing white

and gray ultrasound

of the head,

and the legs,

and the belly

of the shimmering

sea-horse-sized

boy.

 

The wet feet

and knuckle-ish knees

and the cord

spilling from the womb

still attached

to the heaving

white and then blue,

purple then red,

and then breathing pink belly

of the suddenly

unattached boy.

 

Belly on which

my hand rests

like the giant sculpture

of a hand

in the first photographs

of the milk-mounded,

black-cord-crusted belly

of the bloody,

just-circumcised boy.

 

Boy in the crook of my arm,

in the nest of my neck,

touching my stubbled,

rough cheek

as I lift the white shirt

and kiss the great

sack in your hand

of the belly’s

barely perceptible skin.

 

Boy that I was,

boy that all men

of all shapes

and all beauty and all ugliness

were once,

unwittingly lovely,

unknowingly,

unabashedly

granting the world

the long, smooth,

unassailable proof

there is good

in the bad universe,

good in the weightless

white hair,

good in the joyful, meaningless quiver,

and the smirk and the scowl

and the grin,

good in the sleeping, full,

rising and falling

white belly

of the innocent

blond blur

of the beautiful boy.