Love Poem to My Body


when the most repeated phrase of my life has become
I need to sit down
now when the tug of gravity threatens to bury me
now when I walk into a room and scan for a comfortable chair
with the need I used to scan for a pretty woman
I am gathering the love I have for you
Old Thing
Old Thing, who has carried me far
Old thing, who will never leave me
Loyal old dog, losing muscle mass like fur
shedding bone density and expectations
I do not anticipate depth of rigor
will not challenge you to do more than feels good
feeling good — what was that about?

Every day there is pain
Some days better than others and yet
I worship you still—  you who look so much better than I feel
You who show up at parties and in circles
at the head of classrooms
and on stage dressed in Vampyra
so sexy, so full of life force energy
and show up in xrays and mri’s in staggering debilitation
I love you

Old thing, still kickin it,
even when I can no longer cross my legs
put on shoes and socks
dance at all or stand for long
or walk very far
I know what it’s like
to measure distance with my eyes
and decline every incline
this dissent against the pull and drag
plowing through thick air
uphill all the way
What’s it like to rest all day like an invalid
to feel in-valid
and now, I must reach deep
as the strangers will reach deep

while I am intubated with anesthesia
dreaming while they saw off my femur
dislocate my leg from my torso
and make titanium live here for the rest of this journey
I’ve never lost any part of me before
that was physical
I’ve lost my mind and my heart
splintered attention
spent my focus and splayed my mind over the smoker
but this body has remained intact
except for 2 teeth — I am older than I look
and I have pride in that
but lately
I am locked up in a cell of this
Disability, official by the state
gifted me at last with insurance
so I can begin to get fixed
to let go of stiff stuckness,
is that even possible?

Oh, body, Old Thing
This is us in extremis
As the forest grows taller outside the window
As stillness becomes the only way to be out of pain
As we learn to say no more
As wild winds wrap the planet in endless frenzy
this mind climbs the ladder of spine
snaking like caduceus dreaming of wellness
I dream of wellness now
And feel the fear of trusting the stranger
and the pain that will follow
as I trust all the others to hold me
and feed me and clean me and more
Holy shit, this is a lot to love
and love is the least I can do
to pay you back for all the beauty
and all the joys of this long trip

Exhausted by the distance
unraveling mind first
hips to follow
watching the wild birds fly
fills me with anticipation
for the next lifting surprise
step to the edge and rise
that is what I am holding this morning
and visions of Vampyra
sexy on that stage last night
crowds out the pain of today
as I gird my tired loins to do it all over again

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