Fascinating, the Parts of Us
that attain immortality before we do,as if we’d sculpted ourselves into skylineagainst the first gasp of night. I want to stealthe hair of everyone I’ve ever loved, shave itright onto the pillow from their unsuspecting sleepand carry it to the top floor of my obsession.I have trouble letting go, it’s true. In an elevator, I’mthe last to push my floor, and I drink five bottles of waterat a time, scattered all over the house, afraid that if I finishthem, I’ll die. Same with books. Lately I’ve beenreading about President Antonio López de Santa Anna,who ordered a full military burial for hisamputated leg. He dug it upto transport from one home to another,paraded it in an ornate, royal coach.I dream of sparrows lifting the ten poundsI lost last spring to the sun, pinking the edges of the citywith what I used to be. Body that I can barely keep up with,you owe me nothing, not even your parts. Yet, I’m so hungryfor the vanishing lamps of your intelligenceI could eat my own tail,I could pull my own lightning from the sky.
Copyright © 2019 by Melissa Studdard
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Melissa Studdard is the author of the poetry collection I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast and the young adult novel Six Weeks to Yehidah. Her writings have appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, Psychology Today, Harvard Review, New Ohio Review, Bettering American Poetry, Poets & Writers, and more. In addition to writing, she serves as executive producer and host of Voices & Views for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and president of the Women’s Caucus for AWP. To learn more, visit melissastuddard.com.
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