Ode to Back-to-Back Thunderstorms


The eloquent verb,
to suffer,
has vanished!
No more fourteen hours
of sleep a night.
No more perspiration
as I dream of asphyxiating myself
with damp sheets, no more
sensitivity to sudden changes
in my environment, my body
now can be described as having hobbies
other than breaking down, my body
can have rich and heavy
hunger and sex drives
and run for 30 minutes
after eating a 300 calorie ice-cream bar.
My body can feel like a glittering fire
and sound like a jazz sax.
My body can dress up
or dress down.
My body has horizons!
I can answer those questions like
name something spectacular or
embarrassing your body has done,
with more than just
the guilt-invoking I’m sick.
I can tell that story about
how I used to wet the bed
and couldn’t have sleepovers
and it used to repulse me
but now as I heal
bed-wetting amazes me, charms me
reminds me of a Baptism or perhaps
a birthing woman’s broken water:
I have waded in the water and now
I have yellow wings.
My body is two back-to-back
thunderstorms. I have hair that must
be washed and eyes that must
be protected with tortoiseshell glasses
and a post-pubescent body that beckons passes,
whistles, and just maybe
(a place of refuge?)
I can bend my spine into a parentheses,
spend hours contemplating the shape
of my toes: what fruit do they look like?
Blueberries? Persimmons? Pomegranate seeds?
I can eat popsicles
and take shots
and sleep in cotton.
I can laugh at cliches that stretch out
the body, like ear-splitting, or eyesore,
remembering too well the amplified splits
and sores and a body that felt like it
was just as good bought or sold
as it would be dead, a body.
I could have been a Chinese fetus,
a prisoner’s son, in the Bodies exhibit.
Now I feel fire-splatters in my nerve endings
I could barely notice before, my body
turning counter-clockwise and growing younger, my soft heart.