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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 5 page 5

verse

Self Love

by Alex Graves

A smoke breathed out by you and me, by all
The lungless marvels of a man made age,
Scars my inner lustre with its acid pall.
It eats my skin, my soul; I choke with rage.
My body — miracle of blood and bone,
Jewel so fine its maker graved her name
on every cell — despised for looks alone.
A whole green Earth might spin inside my brain;
But thought's not worth a second thought unless
It outwits fame. And worse, that toxic gas
Corrodes the medals of my heart's success —
Then calls them dull, and stained, and cheap as brass.
Stop, I cry. Hate, not love, is mad and blind;
Hate hatred, love your body, heart and mind.