More than I’d seen before, more
than a rabbit, skinned by the sleight
of a butcher’s hands, much more than
the deft red of his wrists. More than
a plucked bird on a hook like a capital
ess in a copperplate book and more
than a grandmother’s mouth stripped
of its keyboard, its click and grin, more
than the gloss of her chopperless gums.
More than his startled skin, its gooseflesh
and quiver, the gristle that made him boy,
more than his ears without their pink wires,
more than all that, lacking their circles
of glass, the blur and fuzz of their squint
looking back at me, more naked than Adam
after the apple: the boy in the bathroom’s eyes.
Naked was first published in the Times Literary Supplement.