April 11, 2010

Masarah Van Eyck

ACCIDENTAL DEATH AND DISMEMBERMENT

Both hands or both feet… $15,000
Entire sight of both eyes… $15,000
Life……………………$5,000
                —from “Accidental Loss of Life and
                Dismemberment Benefits,” Sun Life Insurance Plan

Browsing through the Accidental Death
              and Dismemberment pamphlet,
I realize (at fifteen grand
a pair) I might give
              both hands, or feet, or eyes
for you. Lovers have erred
              offering to die: my death is worth
a third of me, alive and eyeless.

These are the benefits
              to accidents, sacrifice
                            with its strange exchange. All day
              I factor the equations
of my body: list my wrists,
              waist, manhood,
what they call my members,

              until I arrive to your eyes
in the foyer, my dear,
              greet your grand hands
with my rich hips, and understand my body
              as an exclusive club: membership
                            of collarbone, fingertip, lip…

from Rattle #22, Winter 2004