how do you love your body?

torso

is it with care, with the yawning of life
your limbs wrapped in cotton like christmas morning
and the warmth of the sun in and through you?

or is it gently
lolling in long grass and saying hello to beetles
embracing the gravitational love of continental plates
and wondering why everyday couldn’t be just this?

or is it with vigor
on a vulcanized rubber mat with another
your breath in pace with their tendons
your minds free yet focused and every motion
deeply underneath your understanding and every moment
a conversation with everyone of your cells?

or is it with your lover?
to honor your body, is to honor mine
and to feel you until i lose you
until i lose i and you and our only grounding
is a shared breath while our foreheads rest
like an isle of electric connection floating
above our wild eyes

or is it as i run?
past reasonable miles and i fly
and my limbs becomes icarus
plead with me to fail
but i am proud of my body
i demand more of my body
and with each step i feel my sole compress into my shoe
and feel my ligaments spring it all forward
and i do this because i honor my body
and demand it to honor me.

or do you love your body with food
with drink or with smoke?
do you love it that it lets
these chemicals grasp it and guide you away
or do you love your body as a tool

or, perhaps, stay silent
let me love your body for you

the moving quiet of a city’s midnight

14

and when you lay there
to let the warm pause of night
draw its exhausted breath
i could tell you everything
every secret in this world
and show you how they fit

i could show you how your back will fall gently into the ancient hardwood

i could show you how the yellowed streetlamps love us in their duty

i could show you the way these poets breath fire when the world hushes up and wraps itself up in a blanket, child-like with wonder and offering itself to transformation

but i’m lost instead inside your pause
inside that space between one and two
inside a caged beauty that learns to roar

and you will roar.

memory 9:other people

copyright 2016 zachary flessert

but when the bell rang at 10:14 pm
i felt my skin pull tighter over neglected bones
and i wondered if it was possible
to invert myself
into and
out of this place

this space is new
at night i pace a hallway while
ancient boards creak up
right back at me
a whispered conversation between
running ruminations and ghosts from the ‘20s
at 10:17 pm i paused at the door
there was no peep hole
just my eye pressed up against cheap grain wood

and closing it, knowing my windows were
thrust open to welcome the air
humid oppressive but freeing summer air
in
but also the wondering stares of those not let in
i hid myself into the folds of couch cushions
and turned off all of the noise
to just feel the stare of those
not let in