Today's poem is by Susanna Childress


Whose body is whose, I wondered
    once, last night, late, when we were tangled
as kelp, how it grows without knowing it
    does, every which way, warm, sinewy, plaited
by the currents,

I wondered the hows we could grow into
    each other if we did: with no sun to climb to
but the cadence of our bodies, we have raked
    the penniless fountain of propriety, we follow
the moon into the dark, push hair from our faces,
    give shiatsu, crush under, wash each other with the liquids
of God, let go the small noises that parade

as if we are pained, as if too many times
    we did not let our voices slide down, slide up,
as if we could, this time, swim ourselves together, one
    body of muscles and kindly spate, the other of fins
and phenomenon, both no longer inhabited
    by platelets, but a shaken priest, eyelids half shut, fingers
unable to wrap around the curbs of anything, the streaks

and spills of woe, imagination, our tepid days,
    tumbled to the blue rhombus:

we are as open as the mouths of fish
    rising for an oval of air.

Copyright © 2006 Susanna Childress All rights reserved
from Jagged With Love
University of Wisconsin Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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