Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A History of Flesh - Esperanze Friel

is there a name for
the loss of a memory
the forgetfulness of the body
the cruelty of soft skin
turned sharp
and hard?
is there a name for
the last time somebody held
your love in their mouth
like a mother cat
holding a newborn kitten
or like a porcelain bowl
carefully cradling fruit?

what about the sensation of waking up
next to the person
you love most in the world
the warmth of their body
travelling from their side of the bed
to yours
is there a name for that?

i could not name it all
i could not write a dictionary to match
the sensations of life
of broken bones and bruised knees
of chipped fingernails
and scraped elbows
of love made and love lost
of fireplace heat and winter cold
it would take me lifetimes
to chronicle all of this
and so i put these brief
moments into paragraphs
and sentences.
and sometimes at night
when i can not sleep
when my body is still buzzing
with all the things i can not name
i pinch my eyes shut tight
and try to conjure up the last time
somebody told me;
“your body is a story
i would never get tired
of telling.

- Esperanza Friel, “A History of Flesh”

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