Thursday, September 27, 2012

There’s the Body

There’s the Body

There’s the body we have
and the one we alter.

There’s the collective body
of which we are cells.

There’s the body we point to
in portions as babies,

to learn the maps of our parts,
head, shoulders,

knees, toes, our version of
the table of contents.

There’s the body escaping
from us, early on,

the nose a grandfather steals
and shows to us

in his fist, the baby partially
disappearing from

mom or dad under the blanket,
Where’s the baby,

there she is! There’s the body
we want to be rid of

while still living, misty and light.
There’s the body

we speak of to doctors, telling
symptoms as we’d

describe the noises our sick car
makes to a mechanic,

a clack-clack-clack, a wheeze.
There’s the body

we once imagined for ourselves,
long-haired, long-legged

teenager, the body we once thought
we had, thick, fleshy,

but was not how we were, we see,
by looking at a photo

of us. There is the body that others
tell us we have, staring.

There is the body we forget about
while sleeping for hours,

the mind in the body, the hamster
in the wheel. There is

the body we tend to, trimming,
scrubbing. The body

that stirs or aches, to tell us when
to stop or rush,

there is the body you can’t feel
within you, a fridge

with full shelves and drawers.
There is the body

that is yours and the body that
you cannot keep.


  1. Oh this made me blue and happy all at the same time.

  2. outstanding....the refrigerator line was really visual for me... I am so glad to not be aware of my organs and now after reading this I am...yikes : )

    This is outstanding...I like where we tell our doctor what our body does... : )

    Happy Thursday Hannah!

  3. Nicely put, ideal rhythm for how we cannot escape or always return to this body that is ultimately such a separate reality from our minds that paradoxically only exist if the body exists.

  4. The package one is born into and somewhat stuck with--I thought I thought about that quite a bit, but your intriguing examples go way beyond.


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