SELECTED FOR
March 29, 2013 Coldfront
This Morning Feature

from Dolor Diary

Day 12.

The body exposed. Nerve
rending filaments, arms reach
for pallor, relief, kindness of ephialtes who
appear under new names. The body exposed to
enter dolor. A spasm sheet
lists passage through water
days, night visitations, hand
poke taking measure, pulse, fluid, blinker, a maze
that and longer dolor.
Self-resplendent in the solid
body vizor. The body image in blood
stroke outlines afloat
against eye white sky
a self I barely recognize
until recognition washes over, selves passing
each other through corridors, holding
each other’s hands, so
I must always remember it.
Remedy for dolor: memory of river and of running beside it, sky, dust
underneath of unexpected
plump sound of kicking, of love
kiss of cold
water, mouth on my breast, icy plunge, falling
into, soaring down ice
only beginning to thaw
strongest currents, a young man swimming
downstream, in a dark swimsuit, Clark Fork
keen. Algid air. My mouth opens
already as the body. Same mouth, little I, once right
stepped on any path as if I could follow it. Skin ready limbs
langrel. Now, where, dolor.

19th day.

The body tells its own stories without need for a narrator
every day intensifies its jottings and perambulating speech. Even elbows
have their tales – littlest finger rehearses his own chapter.
Special knots keep the body from escaping.
Mostly the body lies softly there
after having been cut open
like a whale cut
open.

[…]

If you have a grievance against the body
take up with a third party. Tell your version
first before the body flings
open its window and exposes false
your vernacular. You gift
the body, piece by piece. Dreaming, the body distributed
to others in the world. Look astray
to know yourself better: there
in a band, in a fist, chorale, in a button, a knee, in a tempest, a closed blue eye, bad storm, gust.

Day 22.

The world once exterior hums through seams. I sniffed out
the body border, intent as a hound. So quickly could be
altered. Trees have moved
interior as have tall grasses
follicles in tandem with their mates. Give thanks
for small round light shining
through leaves of sycamore
inside. Give thanks for small hand
appearing over fence
in a salute to unseen inside. Thanks
for small rooting creature neither kept nor fed
whose presence tilts
balance towards thunder
inside. Thanks for small altered life without which
we would never know we had been missing.

Compassion too has its sad faults and empathy its empty drawers.
And in quiet imaginary
beings fill my mind. They speak in low voices, guessing. I heard
their breathing, I their master. Held their taste in my mouth
for longest time our
common disaster.

27th Day.

The world altered and now you are everywhere. No place I could go
would not be you.

The world permanently altered but words
similar, one day and I
will be nowhere to hear

my self-good experiment
who makes life
real but death also. You there bearing witness
to confinement.

You who – finally – makes my life real but my death also.
You there bearing witness to my confinement.
I nursed a want, imagining you near
you nearer
than imagination could fathom. Nothing crossed
my radar but you.
Were together when rained on roof. When doves visited
singly then in pairs, pecking at dry pods fallen. Dolor in breathing
without thinking of breathing
dolor in sodden earth and in swelling
beyond sight and hearing you, beyond any reach because so near
here where we spend time preparing
for our eventual life together. I cannot say I got to know you

I got accustomed to your presence
more I spoke
more you grew.

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