When his mother came back each night
from the laundry exhausted
he would rub liniment into her shoulders
until they eased.
This was the anatomy lesson of love,
the boy learning and exploring,
re-forming the first body.
Run your hand over the surface of her leg,
the solid, ridged bronze, his vision made large –
women as bones, bones under their gowns,
set high against the trees on the hill.
Another essay on the body,
the dynamics of something in bulk and at rest
until you love it back into life.
Not to be confused with the American actor, Tony Curtis is an award winning Welsh poet and critic. Among other honours, he has the National Poetry Competition in 1984, the 1993 Dylan Thomas Award, a Cholmondeley Award in 1997, and in 2001 was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was Professor of Poetry at the University of Glamorgan – head (and creator) of the MPhil program, and my thesis supervisor.
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