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Posts Tagged ‘body’

 

 

 

The stomach replaces its lining

every four days. Every four days.

Because it’s so highly corrosive,

every four days it remakes itself

and becomes completely new.

Love, this is what I want to do.

Because sometimes we are acid.

Because sometimes we are cruel.

I want to start over every four days.

Every four days, let us be new.

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And though I curse you

and drive you and push you,

body, you hold me,

you carry the soul,

you transform the plum

and the leaf into laughter,

you make tears out of water

and wine. You leap

and you slump, you

sing and you hunger,

you skip and run and crawl.

You let me be part of the miracle

when you made a new body within—

building spine and brain and chin

and toe out of broccoli and coffee and toast.

And when I am clumsy,

you wear the scars to remind me

where we have been. You

change, you soften, you rearrange.

You heal, you insist, you rest.

How, after all these years,

do I still find ways to ignore you?

You who have carried me across finish lines,

you who have held the weeping child?

Why, when I look in the mirror,

do I do anything but marvel

at your skill? Imagine, you breathe

without my command. You regenerate cells.

You tell the blood where to go and when.

Oh body, I’m sorry. I have hurt you. And you,

you hold me like the child that I am,

and you breathe me, you teach me,

you let me try again.

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I like my body when I’m in the woods

and I forget my body. I forget that arms,

that legs, that nose. I forget that waist,

that nerve, that skin. And I aspen. I mountain.

I river. I stone. I leaf. I path. I flower.

I like when I evergreen, current and berry.

I like when I mushroom, avalanche, cliff.

And everything is yes then, and everything

new: wild iris, duff, waterfall, dew.

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Crossing the Line

 

 

 

Mi casa es su casa.

My arms are your arms.

My lips are your lips.

My ripeness, yours. My triceps,

yours. My hunger, my nipples,

my skin, my swollen pinks

are yours, yours. And why stop there?

My dry elbows, your elbows.

My bunions, your bunions.

My cyst, your cyst. What part

of me would you rather not love?

Could you miss it? Tell me you will also take

my thinning skin, my widening hips,

my wrinkled cheek, my cracked heel.

If my fear is your fear; my ugly,

your ugly; my broken, your broken;

my shame, your shame, then kiss me

there. Again. Please? Kiss me there.

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At the Edge of July

 

 

 

Summer, what could you say to this body,

this body nearing its autumn?

What could your flowers teach this heart

about blooming despite heat, despite drought?

What could your shortening days tell this woman

about opening to light?

Summer, I think I know too much.

Teach me warm. Teach me thunderstorm.

Teach me how to be green, and then greener.

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Where you stumble, there your treasure lies.
—Joseph Campbell

Oh body, this is your real destination,
the fall. The lurch. The blunder.
The stagger. The hobble. The trip.
Though I’ve practiced at grace
and balance, though I’ve rehearsed poise
and lifted weights and risen early to run, to ski,
you are destined to stumble, to teeter,
to drop, to collapse, to rot, and to call it good.
Though I eat kale and spirulina,
though I go to my physical every year,
though I think about taking my vitamins daily,
you are ordained to fail and somehow,
I am to find this failure favorable.
Every day I recognize you less—these wrinkles,
these curves, these aches, this gray—
and every day I treasure you more. Oh damn,
I guess that Campbell was right, then.
Here, at the altar of vulnerability, I have
fallen in love with you, the way you have
carried me through forests, up mountains,
across rivers and into ocean waves.
How you’ve lain in the blood of childbirth and joined
the miracle. You have kissed and fucked
and opened and spilled and arched and
writhed and pressed. You have leapt and swung
and spun and reached and nestled and
lunged and wept. And broken and crumpled, yes,
and stumbled over and over again. Oh what
a gift to have a body, to know it all, to fall
and fall and fall in love with the falling,
to lose sense of where we begin and where
we are perfectly, terribly, wholly, richly, thank you, lost.

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Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.
—The Wizard of Oz

Give me a heart that breaks,
a heart that longs to open
wider and wider, always revealing

more space. Give me hands
that long to serve. Make them strong
enough to build what must be built.

Make them fall in love with letting go.
Make them unable to hurt. Give me a mind
that leans toward generosity. A tongue

that speaks in only we. Feet that run
toward those in need. Eyes
that see beneath the masks. Ears

that hear the silence
that is the staff for every sound. A nose
that follows the fragrance of truth.

Blood the same red as everyone else’s.
And give me a heart that breaks again
and again, the way ocean waves

break, unpredictable, an endless
breaking, an endless release,
in which nothing is ever really lost.

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I bow to the ache of it,
the deep inner eating
away at itself, I bow
to the shivers, the gooseflesh,
the waves of nausea and pain.
I bow to the unnamed,
to question, to dark.
And I bow to the fear
that swells in small spaces
and the vast quiet
that dissipates the fear.
I bow to every other human
who hurts and I bow
to the yellow flowers tonight
blooming in the muck
where the river used to be.
I bow to the ache, goddammit,
I bow to it and I bow
to the reluctance to bow to it,
bow to the longing to shove
it all away, and I bow,
hush now, just bow.

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This body
seven billion billion billion atoms
all agreeing
to cohere—
but sometimes
I sense
a mutiny

*

and seven
billion
billion
billon
atoms
all at once
become bench,
milk, book, leaf,
rye, sign,
street

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