March 14, 2017

So often the body becomes a distraction

A poem by Kaveh Akbar, beautiful and resonant and worth sharing:

So often the body becomes a distraction—
delicate husk, inconvenient hair, 
the bizarre need to recharge. I’ve heard
you die young if you don’t sleep, but if you do
you’ll just snooze through your extra time. 
Like the headless grasshopper and his still-
twitching legs, I’m learning how much of myself
I don’t actually need. It exists, a world without
this long dumb neck. My whole form is mostly
skeleton and loose meat; that I’ve managed
anything at all seems cause for praise. Some say
there is life after the body, mysterious
as a tooth melting out an ice cube. A year ago
I blew the drugs out of my nose and immediately,
I was overwhelmed by the smell of semen
and gingerbread. Now I listen for the sighs
of people who love me, each agitation I create
a reminder that I am less than constant
in my grace. Will I ever be a great man? Will I
ever be one of the guys? Tarre be tockmesh mire, 
Kavehi be babash. The leek looks like its seed, 
and little Kaveh looks like his father. See how
I am all rosejuice and wonderdrunk? See how
my throat is filling with salt? Boil me. Divide
me. Wrap me in paper and return me to earth. One day       
I will crack open underneath the field mushrooms. 
One day I will wake up in someone else’s bones.