Painted Flesh

Last night you showed me the secret of my own body
Spelled out in curve of belly and hip,
calf and breast, in jutting
collarbone, chin and knee,
in the hollows of my cheeks.
in those shy creases where light can’t seep.

Last night I watched you brush against my skin
up and down
back and forth
sometimes even swirling:
wet kiss of nature’s pigments,
blushing,
burning,
swimming.

Last night I witnessed
my skin dissolving under tongue of darkness
Loosening me to ride
on moonlight’s train
toward what cannot be seen as yet
by clouded eye, but laughing,
Giddy delight.

Last night I watched my soul
in your rough hands released
to tumble cross borders
through time,
skip over language
till at last

m e r g i n g
mer-ging
merging
with the light.

by Deanna Elaine Piowaty

As a Nia dance teacher; children’s, young adult and A-V librarian for over a decade; writer (magazine journalist and formerly Assistant Producer of the PBS series, “California Working;” as well as contributor to the just released book, Portraits in Healing: artistic pathways through breast cancer; and contributor to Write Around Portland anthologies, The Cracks in the Paint, and More Than a Book), mother of three; and cancer survivor; Deanna shares what she has learned through the healing power of dance and personal narrative to rediscover lost parts of ourselves while celebrating new definitions of strength and beauty.

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