Writing About the Body, Day 11

“I contain multitudes…” — Walt Whitman

I contain fat-free yogurt and strawberries and blueberries. I contain half a bad veggie burger and some steamed corn that used to be frozen. I contain hot fudge. I contain the Tuesday night I almost died. I contain those days before Christmas when I was hit by a car. I contain corneas with a tendency to develop cracks. I contain my father’s voice not saying “I love you” right up till the end. I contain Lisinopril and Spiriva and Advair and Singulair and Zyrtec and and Nasonex. I contain the nurse from the insurance company insisting I must have COPD. I contain the man who stopped his car last week to ask for my number. I contain the bag of clothes in my closet I used to fit into last summer. I contain ice cream. And pizza. And donuts. I contain guilt. And shame. And anger. I contain wonder. And joy. And laughter. I contain the small trenches where my teeth used to be. And eye tissue from someone dead at least 15 years now. And alveoli that are perpetually petulant. I contain a great singing voice that can no longer easily find its way out. I contain the lyrics to Patsy Cline’s Crazy and the opening lines of Glen Hansard’s “Once.” I don’t know you but I want you all the more for that. I contain longing for skin against skin, mouth against mouth, kindness against grief. I contain Walt Whitman and Frida Kahlo and poor sad Mrs. Woolf down by the riverbank again. And the wrinkling neck of every courtesan Colette ever mourned in her pages. I contain ink. I contain pencils and their pink and willing erasers. I contain the clack and clack of fingers against keys: typewriter, piano, house. I contain each night I sobbed into the piano alone in the house some lucky afternoons. I contain each day I sobbed into the cold arms of the radiator as I curled myself into the hollow between it and the pink wall. I contain too many glasses of booze and not enough glasses of water and a map drawn so that a very fat boy could find his way home to me. I contain windows and doors and hallways. I contain lockboxes and safes and secret slits cut into the sides of mattresses. I contain Athena, Aphrodite, and Atalanta. I contain slings and arrows and always a single bullet in a single gun. I contain sorrow and the time after sorrow and the beautiful strong phoenix self that knows no other way but to persist.

Posted on August 4, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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