I Go for a Walk in the Evening While the Body Stays at Home by Alix Anne Shaw – Guernica 

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These wet and windy days aggravate the rheumatism in my joints. I struggle to keep the body at pace with my mind. My mind: the curious two-year old, with the passion of a teenage romance, and the gravity of mid-life. The body oscillates. Move forward, I demand of it, it stays at home. Then comes a poem that speaks to me as well as listens to me, and I want to share it with you.

———-

The body unbuckles the door latch
and stands behind the screen. To hide its bloated legs
it wears the frayed red bathrobe of its grief. The sun, that swollen increment,

gathers to a dark burr in my mouth. The green leaves
tighten down across their stems, a small voice coming toward me
on someone else’s phone.

There was something I wanted to say
about the body. (The sun, that swollen
increment, a dark burr in my mouth—) That the body

is a tent stake. That the figure I am chasing through the late
short grass is mine. But the lip makes no remittance
and the sparrow in the boxwood

cools itself to quartz. Then the sparrow casts the spiral
of its sleep. Our feet in the earth are chisels.
The lights in the houses turn in

on themselves like little snows.

Source: I Go for a Walk in the Evening While the Body Stays at Home by Alix Anne Shaw – Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics

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