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Month: February, 2014

from Memento Mori

The body is a poem. This is your body and this is a poem. This is not yours to own. The body is the poem of the world. The body is a word of the world is a phrase of the world is a sentence of the world. Say this is your body, and you cannot lay claim upon it. Your hands move over the letters, the scripting edges of your lobes the spindling of your fingers the whorls of your thumbs the punctuated moles the Braille of your scars and what sound do they make what meaning what intention. To say this means something means I intend it to mean something. I who made the body. I who made but cannot claim. The body is a language. The body is alive insofar as it is spoken. Then let another mouth speak it. Let the sound be foreign to your ears. Let the unfamiliarity wash over you. Make your mouth speak it. The body is a temple. The body is a prayer so let your mouth speak it. There is a knife at the altar of the throat and the world is a lamb caught in the thorn bushes. Slit its throat and lay it on the table. Speak of what can be spoken, then the rest is burned in silence. A voice beyond the body declares Enter. Take this in. Receive.

(This is an excerpt from a longer poem.)

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Knife Talk

Let’s talk about us, you said. Well then, bring out
the chopping board, we’re peeling apples tonight.
And since you’re bad at estimations, let me
halve things for you. Gutting a fish is not as easy
as sticking a knife from throat to tail. But you can
do it anyway. No one way to slice things. No one way
to go wrong also. I get it now, you say. We’re two
parts of a whole. Ah, no, I said. It’s more like
if I were a knife, you are a whetstone. You laughed
because what does that mean you asked. I passed you
the peeled apple, core removed. And I sharpen the knife
against the countertop in response. Slash slash slash.

Funeral, in three parts

i.

The closest thing
to touch: a film of glass
inches from your face.

ii.

I searched for signs
of life, but even the flowers
do not breathe.

iii.

What I know of grief:
the clouds in our eyes
the drought in our throats.