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Posts Tagged ‘body’

Hearing Aid



 
 
I slipped my ear
into your pocket
close to your heart.
It wanted to be near
the steady thump
of those chambers,
a rhythm more reassuring
than any lullaby.
My ear likes it there
against your chest,
likes the warm hum
of your voice floating
over it, your words
indistinct through the cloth.
Forgive this eavesdropping
on the pulse of you,
but it is the only news
that interests my ear today
while the rest of me
works far away.
Yes, the only thing
my ear wants to hear
is the red song of you
like a faithful drum beating
here, here, here.
 

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And Mean It, Too

In every second, one hundred trillion neutrinos
pass through the body: One hundred trillion

subatomic particles move through us
as if we were sieves, no, as if we were nets

with holes so big that whole islands
travel through without us noticing.

It thrills me to think of the self so porous,
so leaky. Imagine if thoughts, too,

could clear us with so little friction,
so little effect. How many hopes and hurts

just today have I let stick? Imagine
them breezing through the aorta, imagine

them gliding through the brain, slipping through
the core of us, finding no purchase, no anchor.

Imagine the miracle that in any given moment
we don’t fall through our chair, our bed, the floor.

Imagine, permeable as we are, we still coalesce
enough to look at another, to see each other as whole.

We still manage to pick up the mesh of a phone,
succeed in moving our holey lips,

and hundreds of trillions of neutrinos later,
with total certainty, manage to promise a solid I love you.

Imagine, with these pervious hands
we might carry each other, might cradle

each other, might welcome each other home.

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Pneumonia

 

            —for A

 

 

And if I could, I would breathe for you.

I would inhale and exhale and hold

your breath for you. For you I would

sigh and rant, I would hack and pant,

I would be your lungs if I could. I would

ease this ache, I would carry this pain,

I would take away fear, I would be

the wind, the wild mesa wind,

the late April wind that blows change

into all we thought we knew

and rearranges the meaning of here.

No one could ever speak for you.

But I would breathe for you, friend.

Please, breathe, please keep breathing.

I need you to breathe for you, breathe

for me, please, friend. I wish I could

breathe for you, breathe for you.

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When pregnant, it was clear

I was along for the ride with a miracle.

Sure, I could eat organic broccoli,

walk and eschew caffeine,

but that was just taking care

of the vessel. Life itself

was doing the real work.

 

Imagine my surprise today

to realize I’m still along for the ride.

How did I ever kid myself

that I was in charge?

And oh, the bliss today

to notice anew these hands,

these eyes, these feet!

What joy to see them again

as the miracle they are,

to offer them in service to life.

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While I Was Sleeping

 

And while I was sleeping, dreaming yet again

of being on stage without knowing my lines,

my erector spinae muscles decided to wrestle

with bears and my rhomboids crash landed

after the parachute didn’t open. My levator

scapulae muscles lifted ten refrigerators and

my trapezii danced in stilettos for hours. Is it any wonder

I woke unable to move my neck? There are days

we realize just how grateful we are for parts

of the body we never could name

until today the bodyworker wrote them down,

how lucky we are to take them for granted.

There are days when we wake and realize

how much happens in our sleep. There are days

we think how much easier it would be

to just end up on a stage not knowing

our lines. Darn those bears. Darn those high heels.

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Swimming to the Island

 

 

 

I didn’t intend to swim to the island.

Told myself it was just a quick slip

into the water. Told myself I would

rejoin the others soon. But the water

said yes to me. And my arms and legs

seemed to remember then

exactly what they were made for.

Sometimes we’re in service to something

more primal, a voice that says go, go,

keep going, though there’s no race,

no finish line, no prize, no spectators,

nothing but the thrill of becoming

the body’s bright verb. Feel how

the water buoys you, even as your weight

pulls you down, how it shimmers as far as

a woman can swim, how with each

stroke of your dripping arms,

the lake christens you again and again

a child of this very here.

 

 

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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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