Karen Kunc © 2011 All Rights Reserved
Your mantra: just tissue and cell, tissue and cell,
blood heap no larger than a doll’s teacup,
a sparrow’s wing. A paltry grasp.
The body a grave, first of April
but the thrushes have sore throats, song
catches like stones. Nothing hewn shut,
not entirely, still a heartbeat, yes, a heartbeat,
slightest nudge, whisper-faint.
Spring mud and this most terrible
joke, you the fool who craves
etymology—“mis”—the aim off-center,
(or the mark beyond reach?)
“Carriage”—horse-drawn vessel, cradle,
“mis” as in mistake, as in try again, as in
better luck next time. Organs
are pinwheels that spin without
intent. Tributaries swell, flood
your banks, bitter damp, a chill.
A flesh too sleek to embrace.
Crucifix with a Bending Christ
As if to sever the bind cramming hips to beam,
the wood splintered skin, rope dug against wrist, its gouge.
(This is a Christ one could almost love—
Not surrender, fight. Not relent, but struggle).
Honor the messes we get ourselves into, then, as Lear
tore away his eyes, the hard certainty of them.
What more could we ask
of the body than to be whole. Or else to be tarnished
by our own hands,
of our own purposeful doing.
Sara E Lamers’ collection of poetry A City without Trees was published by March Street Press in 2007. A chapbook, Applause: The Patron Saint Poems, was released in April of 2010. Work has appeared in journals such as Fugue, the MacGuffin, Main Street Rag, and Rattle. She teaches at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, MI, and received an MFA in poetry from Purdue University.
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