For The Days I Stop Wanting A Body


Imagine when a human dies the soul misses the body
Actually grieves the loss of its hands
And all they could hold
Misses the throat closing shy
Reading out loud on the first day of school

Imagine the soul misses the stubbed toe
The loose tooth
The funny bone
The soul still asks
“Why does the funny bone do that?
It’s just weird.”

Imagine the soul misses the thirsty garden cheeks
Watered by grief
Misses how the body could sleep through a dream
What else can sleep through a dream
What else can laugh
What else can wrinkle the smile’s autograph

Imagine the soul misses each falling eyelash
Waiting to be wished
Misses the wrist screaming away the blade
The soul misses the lisp
The stutter
The limp
The soul misses the holy bruise
Blue from that army of blood rushing to the wound’s side

When a human dies
The soul searches the universe for something blushing
Something shaking in the cold
Something that scars
Sweeps the universe for patience worn thin
The last nerve fighting for its life
The voice box aching to be heard

The soul misses the way the body would hold another body
And not be two bodies but one pleading God doubled in grace
The soul misses how the mind told the body
“You have fallen from grace.”
And the body said, “Erase every scripture that doesn’t have a pulse
There isn’t a single page in the Bible that can wince
That can clumsy
That can freckle
That can hunger.”

Imagine the soul misses hunger
The fist that was never taught to curl, curls
The teeth that were never taught to clench, clench
The body that was never taught to make love, makes love
Like a hungry ghost digging its way out of the grave

The soul misses the un-forever of old age
The skin that no longer fits
The soul misses every single day the body was sick
The now it forced
The here it built from the fever
Fever is how the body prays
How it burns and begs for another average day

The soul misses the legs creaking up the stairs
Misses the fear that climbed up the vocal chords
To curse the wheelchair
The soul misses what the body could not let go
What else could hold on that tightly to everything
What else could hear the chain of a swing set and fall to its knees
What else could touch a screen door and taste lemonade
What else could come back from a war and not come back
But still try to live
Still try to lullaby

When a human dies the soul moves through the universe
Trying to describe how a body trembles when it’s lost
Softens when it’s safe
How a wound would heal given nothing but time

Do you understand
Nothing in space can imagine it
No comet
No nebula
No ray of light can fathom the landscape of awe
The heat of shame
The fingertips pulling the first grey hair
And throwing it away

“I can’t imagine it.”
The stars say
“Tell us again about goosebumps.
Tell us again about pain.”

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