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The Library of the Body

September 30, 2010

~for Jenny and her mother

Today I pull out the book of grief
and find one thousand chapters.
There is the one on letting go~
where brilliant leaves, veins lined in gold,
shuffle down the page.
There is the one of the mother
who lost her child along the path
of her womb—she clutches herself rocking.
And there is the one of the child
who lost her mother
and feels her absence
like the delicate lacing of sunlight
on the webbing of her hand
when she holds it to the window.


Next, I open the book of joy
and here the pages overlay the last book
like layers of rock in a sandstone cliff.
For the mother who lost her child
still feels the way her own cells split to make another.
And the leaf that dropped from the tree
still knows the ecstatic moment of release
when it left the branch it had always known as home.
And the girl who lost her mother
still sees the way she curled in those forever arms
the way that one life enfolds another.


The book of rage comes next
full of passions unmet–all we could never do,
all the wrongs that have foiled our destiny.
Rage at the song we could not sing.
Rage at the father who broke our spirit.
Rage at the lover who left us on our knees.
Rage at our own weakness.
Rage at the god who would not lift us easily
above the rough waters of this world.
This book laughs at us, throaty and guttural,
and then begins to weep. For such losses
are not to simply be cast off and forgotten.
Here you light a candle as you read,
and burn each page as you go on.


Finally there is the book of love.
This book has no words.
This book simply pours
moonlight across your body.
This book sprouts roses
when you are not looking.
This book unfolds itself
into a blanket of stars
that cry out–remember! remember!
This book turns into an apple
and falls gently into your hand–
and says—eat, taste, nourish.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 30, 2010 11:01 pm

    Just tears. So lovely.

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