To My Body

Steven Sanchez
ISBN: 978-0-9975805-1-8
26 pages

Stunningly lyrical, Steven Sanchez' poems explore profound questions of ethnic and sexual identity in context of social and cultural history. They search for authentic spiritual and physical connection, and they celebrate language in all its forms — including the intensely eloquent language of the human body. "I watched winter enter / and leave my body," writes the poet, "transforming / words into something visible, / almost tangible, like Adam"s left / hand that will never reach God." This is a beautifully transformative book. I will read it again and again.

— Corrinne Clegg Hales, author of
To Make it Right

"In unpacking moments of conflict and joy, To My Body becomes an ode to both the physical body and the body of experiences lived through."

— José Angel Araguz, The Friday Influence, review and interview of To My Body

Read also: "breathing with Steven Sanchez" by José Angel Araguz


Sample poem from To My Body:

Sunday Mornings

Before sunrise, I collected the Sunday ads and thumbed through the pages of models I’d seen in my friend’s catalog stored between his mattress and frame; women wore bras with elegant black letters scrawled across the page, Limited Time Offer never touching their skin. But it was the men who excited me. Like a magician, I severed waists from torsos, cut out pairs of briefs with left-handed scissors and pressed my thumb against their cotton daggers. Just below their necks I sawed again, took the faces beardless, square-jawed, and pasted them onto broad shoulders whose trapezius muscles rose like pyramids I imagined climbing, navigating the constellations of bodies spread across the sky blue sheets on my bed. I rolled out the glue stick from its sheath, the white tip of a magic wand that could attach the wide shoulders of Hanes models onto lean torsos of the Fruit of the Loom models and align their waists with the briefs and legs of the Cheetah models. I knew to hide these men inside the pages of my dictionary, though words clung to the wet curves of their bodies like newspaper ink on my hands, headlines and stories stained on my skin.
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Steven Sanchez is a CantoMundo Fellow, a Lambda Literary Fellow, and was selected by Mark Doty as the winner of Marsh Hawk Press’ 2016 Rochelle Ratner Memorial Award. His poems have appeared in Nimrod, Crab Creek Review, Word Riot, The Cossack Review, and Tinderbox, among other journals.