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A Reminder

Poetry & Prose | April 23, 2018

when I run in the cold I am

acutely aware of my nerve endings & how they

form clusters like dust molecules gathering under a stove –

my lips throb against the knife-edge of wind & my

nipples tighten defensively into peaks but

elbows, knees, heels all are so silent

they fade out of awareness altogether.

I could almost be without them – mouth

& breasts & fingertips alone together

racing through the February air.

 

This is just one miracle.

 

Mama, your body

is no one’s apology. From tiny dust-balls of your cells we

grew, neural tubes stretching & bending into brains & spinal cords,

skin that keeps outside water out & inside water in

hair that needs cutting

hearts that beat beat beat even

when it hurts, sometimes,

too much,

 

And it was your hands that chopped the

color-spectrum of vegetables we used to build these long

bodies, our own, and your

collarbone we cried into, your feet that followed everywhere

so you’d be right behind if we

fell. I know that pain, immediate

and remembered, is an ever-present toddler tugging

on your sleeve saying look, look, it hurts

and I wish so fiercely I could send him away

but you are also a woman of your own,

carrying pain on your hip with one arm and,

with the other, reaching up and

rising.