I am carrying my body
Or maybe it carries me
A vessel of muscle and respiration
Of heartbeat and headache
From a place of relative peace
Into that river of fear and happiness
And sensation and tension and annoyance and excitement
That I call
It lifts me, and I drag it
Wheezing and protesting
Toward duties and desires
Straining toward outcomes.
And it propels me
On cardiovascular springs
Toward what I truly need
And sometimes I fall into satisfaction
Like throwing myself at the ground
Sometimes I listen
Sometimes I know
More often I talk
Filling space with chatter
More often I wonder
With an unconscious dread
That suspects something inevitable is creeping up
Never stopping, never slowing
And this body
Slices the waves
Cresting the swells
With barely-controlled rudder.
Pilots in desperation
Careening toward wants
Outrunning the inevitable
As it curses the body that drags it down with dull aches
Depends on the body that propels it forward with thankless exertion.
The mind shouts at the body
And grumbles that it does not obey.
The body whispers love in return,
And its heart breaks.
And the mind too is brokenhearted
But has no time
Even to mourn.
Caught careening from shore to shore
From panic to relief to panic to relief to panic to relief
Faster and faster
To the point of exhaustion.
If only the waveform could collapse
The oscillation slow
Until I could catch my mind’s breath
And know deep peace
In the pores of my soul.
Then I could rest
But rest is of the body
And I have called myself
A thing apart
And I wonder why I do not hear my body speak.
But the body will continue speaking
Plead with me through its unceasing conversation
Of laying down, standing up, walking, smiling, talking, frowning,
screaming, running, sitting, eating, excreting, orgasm, sleep.
And all this time it moves me
And I, unmoved, imagine that it moves me.
I call it “IT”
As if it were my slave
And wonder why it responds to lashings
With aches and groans and knots.
I have enslaved myself
And as I batter my hull on treacherous rocks
I cry out for relief
I cry out for deliverance
And one day
I hope soon
I just might heed that cry