Letters of My Body
Please stop for a moment – please stop jiggling worriedly or pushing shyly beneath the blanket on the couch. I’ve written a poem for you in Morse code. There, dotted along your tops where the sun tenders that thin skin. I’ve dotted the tops of your big toes – just a few words, faint as dust. Read up to your cousins, ankle and calf, for they hold stanzas of a sonnet with no meter, a haiku with 100 syllables. You will read a story of a thousand trips and the story of burning grains of sand clinging-stinging the steps along a Middle Eastern sea. And of pressing the gas pedal of a race car along a nighttime track where every corner is blind but the brake never fails. The stanza above the kneecap tells of a time this body escaped a man who eclipsed our sun, fading the speckles of words until, Feet, we had to go. The tender arch of you, tough heel, finding purchase along miles of graveled runs. Runs that flushed toxin from our heart. Feet. You led – pulled – skidded sideways – upright – forward for miles to a patch of warmth, where the daylight gathered back onto our limbs. Where daylight was the story.
You are loved.
*This is the (quick for this blog) second draft piece, originally penciled out in 15 minutes during this past weekend’s Chuckanut Writers Conference in Bellingham. The particular session was entitled: “Writing the Body” led by Denise Jolly. The structure: Choose a body part you like and a body part you may feel ashamed of. Write a love letter as it would be written from the former to the latter.
I’m thinking next drafts will experiment out of prose form.