A FIELD GUIDE TO THE BODY*
how to pull the arc of my dying
across the page
how to tell the birds to be quiet
and the sky and
buildings (this building)
all around thrusting
the nest of the city upward
So that, every gesture must be accounted
for. The world all around becomes
unique with longing.
a truck passes
a building is red
these things define themselves
I am not the only one--each person is
born with a certain amount of blindness,
an incapability to describe the interior.
She tells him if there were no categories
this looking would be impossible.
She tells him, the only category for him
A shadow crosses the street.
A shadow walks the beach.
Its figure moves laboriously
blanketed by a series of lights;
the movement, at once,
distorted and beautiful.
Aren't we all damaged human forms?
an open mouth
survival of the body
a perceived fragility that turns
the body as a mirror
as an opening mouth
surface of a leaf
a glowing splint that bursts
blow and it will turn milky
blow, and it may drift
one boy's small hand
an inherent grammar
a light outside the window
illuminating our place in this world
of swimming pools and their vastness
all the birds in new jersey
a mother who is good with numbers
a father who is good with poetry
this crooked body
boys who made me lose the blues
and then my eyesight
the ocean and its variations
Small animals in the garden.
Thirty segments of the heart
can split and repair.
Winds may (or may not) exist.
This world is, at once, so beautiful
and so ugly.
If I were blindfolded, I wouldn't
have to see.
The body wants to fly; the body
wants to walk; the body wants to
be simple or ordinary.
It wants and wants.
This wanting is without end.
The body remembers
its only movement as poetry.
Like one who cannot describe snow.
Like one who cannot parody the narrative.
Beat at the cage of my bones.