Today's poem is by Claire Wahmanholm

Relaxation Tape

We were asked to start with our eyes open. The loudspeaker asked us to imagine that we were made of jelly. It told us to let our bones be moss, to let them melt like salt into the mud. We looked skyward and rhe loudspeaker became a prayer. Let your lips uncouple, your jaws dissolve; let your mouth fall open. We did. We opened our mouths onto the dark, opened them toward the surrounding woods. And now imagine that your bones are leaves. I saw the melted trees, the acid-rained twigs. Through my open mouth I drew night air. And now imagine that your mouth is soil. I shut my eyes and imagined letting them sink from their sockets, letting them sink through my skull to leave two open eyes blacking the back of my head. I took what used to be my hand and let it rest on what used to be my stomach. Imagine you are nothing. I did not have to imagine. The membranes over my organs had melted. I was half buried in the soft mud. Let go, a voice said. I did. I opened earthward. Afterward, stories would imagine this melting as the emptying of us, but no emptiness could have left us so open.

Copyright © 2018 Claire Wahmanholm All rights reserved
from Night Vision
New Michigan Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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