"Original Face"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Oct. 8 2002 11:15 AM

Original Face

Listen to Henri Cole reading this poem. Some mornings I wake up kicking like a frog.

My thighs ache from going nowhere all night.

I get up—tailless, smooth-skinned, eyes protruding—

and scrub around for my original face.

It is good I am dreaming, I say to myself.

The real characters and events would hurt me.

The real lying, shame, and envy would turn

even a pleasure-loving man into a stone.

Instead, my plain human flesh wakes up

and gazes out at real sparrows skimming the luminous