Say Each Day Your Body Wakes Another Body

p
o
e
m
s

opens inside of you. First fissure, then split, then spread: this body
unfurling thick and heavy-headed as a peony, as desire. Say your

outer body works its world-hands daily to push your inner body back
into shadow and seed, some bloody chamber. Say while one body

isn’t watching, the other slips the latch, rises every hour, grazing
for what it wants. Say each night your two bodies are bound enemies

in a pitch-black basement. The inner body beaten and fetal. The outer:
broken-knuckled and sore. Say one body prays with its eyes. Say one goes

more blind. Say one body wants to praise birdsong and sky, feathers
and lemons. Say an ancient glacier stuffs the other’s ears. Stops its tongue.

Or let’s say one body, one body; one song: one song. Say one body learns
to see through the other’s eyes. Say woven. Say the day holds one low,

slowing note to greet the night’s high spill of bells and stars. Say harmony.
Say fields upon fields of bloom and loam. Say caress. Say confluence.

Say mutual. Say deep whale moan. Say plunging upward. Say foam. Say through.
Say spume. Say spume again. Say the thick stubbled stalk of a sunflower

breaking old fence slats. Say ache. Say shameless. Say the going storm
gone. Say open window. Say thunder’s muted pulse. Say cumulus and stars.

Say flashes of milky light in far blooms of thunderheads. Say wet grass,
drenched leaves. Say: together. Say: safe. Say: praise. Say: resurrection.

Say the moon’s sheer light trailing sheets of grace over your naked bodies:
Your fearless body, your fearless body. Both of them.

Robert Fanning is a Professor of English at Central Michigan University and the author of four poetry collections: Severance, Our Sudden Museum, American Prophet, and The Seed Thieves.

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