This Body

New poem.  

This waning,
this decay,
this slowdown — 

this is
my body.  This

stubborn
raw stone in a shoe, this
broken heel, this bad toenail,
this slash in a sole.  This is

my body: what I own,
all I own.  Don’t 

care much for it; free it
to care for itself or not,
let it feed
on what’s at hand. This old

pirate stealing my speed.
This old eyelid in full drop,
this old endgame wondering

if tonight tomorrow or next after that
will bring an end — well, well.

I say: let it. Let me
slow down to crawl,
then to belly skid,

then to full stop —

I will still be as beautiful then 
when I am in those first moments
after I die and my body — this
hesitancy, this now permanent delay — 
lies absolutely still.  I will surprise you

with that sudden marble intensity after a life
of frenzy, with my meditation
on how not to move.

This is my body
now, soon to be no longer mine.
When I’m gone you’ll speak of 
what was left behind:
you’ll speak of

a rot-fallen willow.

Not I.  
If something of me can still speak 
it will sing of this body
and of how it was
imperfect, but was never

a mistake.

 

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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