Category Archives: the body

napowrimo #4 (and i owe you one)

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Be the Air You Want to Breathe, and Other Foolish Holidays (working title)

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Sitting on the side of your bed, trying to breathe
you say, “It’s good to see you.” I see your chest
shudder (trapped moths) beneath your white undershirt.
I breathe
for both of us. I see your hair is not combed (spider webs).
I breathe
tendrils of smoke from a neighbor’s chimney.
I see your empty water bottle, tissues like white mice on the floor.
Each time they ask, I breathe
for your lungs–twin beggars.

I see a host of gold ladybugs flank your watery blue
eyes, or is that the patina of lived long enough?
having looked into them or not quite at the pair
for so many years it is hard to see what is new

what is old. Only the painter hired to rip cabbage
roses from the front bedroom sees the peeling paper,

only the roofer shimmying past flaking slate sees the holes
beneath the tar paper—the rest of us too busy mopping
rainwater, trying to remember which one tried to fly
from the second story pitch with an umbrella in one hand.

I open the door as the stretcher breezes in and I see blue sky,
the tips of forsythia trying to take in enough resurrection
enough of what this day has to offer, to push their yellow
eyes past shelter’s thin shell
into oxygen’s invisible embrace.

Body Poem #6 (You knew the cats were coming, right?)

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IMG_0397The Wife Breaks Her Appointment at the Day Spa

 

The black cat shadows me.
Of my own free will, I watch
the breath lift his fur, replace.

I draw a ragged breath
imagine legions of black hairs
stroking my lungs.

He sleeps with his head
soft world
on my wrist–gentle restraint. Who is waving?

I curse my dense bones
dream my diaphragm a knife
thrusting claws through my fingertips.

The air hums with his sleep (little death)
my ribs ache from vibration
fluttering inside. We are wreathed in birds.

A sparrow knocks
against the window (one gold eye open)
it’s feathers stick to my tongue

like snowflakes, melt into breakfast.

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Notes:  This is not nearly as dark as I would prefer.  Much like the kitten picture doesn’t reflect his size today.  I think the title is wrong.  Definitely a first draft.