This Body is a Palace of Pleasure   

Is it
you ask, as you clasp 
my hand, a twinkle in those big 

brown eyes. It’s been three weeks.

This sick, achy body is ready.


You put in the chair, wrangle

the perfect temperature, ease me in. 

The steam. The hot spray. 
Your hands. Those beautiful 

sensuous hands, the delicate

bones I
long to lick & suck. 

You quickly wash yourself,

all suds and skin and hair,

singing “Music is Love”. I rest 
in my chair, face turned up. I’m aroused

watching you wash yourself,

the seductive way you sponge


and stroke. When it’s my turn, you face

me fully. Start with my long hair,

meticulously massage mango shampoo
into every strand, scrub my scalp. 

Next, you slather rose soap
onto a soft blue washcloth. Tenderly,  

you raise my right arm, inhale,
and scour my hairy armpit,

work your way down my arm 
to my fingertips. You pause,


briefly, to rub my hands

and kiss my swollen 

knuckles. Rinse and repeat 
on the left. You whisper

close your
, before softly 
soaping my face, my neck,


and nuzzle in after rinsing. How silky

your skin you repeat
like a mantra. 

You spend a long time bathing
my voluptuous breasts, talking 

to them playfully. They adore you
and have their own relationship with you.  

When you’re not around, they tell me
all about it. The way they introduced


themselves to you, back
when we first met in 1994.

It’s titillating when you scrub
my back, the only place I cannot


touch myself.  When you turn

to my belly, I
moan as you thrust  

your index finger into my innie.
You lift one foot, then the other, lave

and knead. Between the toes
feels ummmmm.  Slowly, you move 

your wet warm hand up my legs,
careful with the backside 

of my knees. Slowing down even more,
as you reach my velvety inner thighs. 

You are worshipping at the church
of Yoni now, head bowed, praise

on your lips. I let myself fully relax 
into this intimate rapture

of being bathed by my beloved. 
An offering so sensual, melodic 

and necessary, my cells are abuzz 
with the starlight that made us.

You have alchemized

this tired, painful body

into a pulsing palace of pleasure. 
a Palace. a Pulsing. a Pleasure. 

a Pleasure.  a Pleasure. a Pleasure. 



 Our Story                    

For my beloved



Sometimes I imagine us

as Charlie’s grandparents —


the ones that didn’t make it

to the chocolate factory —


laying side-by-side in bed,

our bodies pinned down


like butterflies on a dusty display

board for the last


nineteen years. Together,

we hold the center. On days


when our bodies unravel,

we become paper wasps,


who slowly digest

each hued piece then spit


out honeycomb rainbows

to line our nest. When life


took my eyes, I grew back

new ones like a blue-bellied


lizard after a ferret snatched

its tail in its toothy mouth.


And when your pelvis broke

in half, you built a bridge


with the metal scraps

you salvaged


on the ground around you.

When pharmacies


and doctors dam our path,

we use our fingers


and toes, clawing and churning

until we find a new route.


We become trees

growing through fences and rock,


insurance companies

and bureaucracies — whatever,


gets in our way. We remind me

of our dog Sari — arthritic back


legs, dry tongue hanging out —

each time she tries to jump


up on her favorite green chair,

she circles and circles,


and when she regularly misses,

she circles again and again — until


she finally makes it. Is this just

a story we tell ourselves


to keep going on the long,

difficult days when our bodies


play possum?  Or perhaps

this is precisely the story


we need to continue circling

and circling, until



we are able to leap —

LISA GEISZLER is a disabled poet who lives with the severe chronic illness ME/CFS, and a print disability. She spends 90-95% of her time in bed, where she writes slowly, often a line a day. Poetry – reading it, writing it, listening to it    – is one of her best medicines. She is a member of Pillow Writers.  You can find her on Twitter @MElovewarrior.  



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