Life in This Body


And those other images of the brain lit up—
faces here, hand tools there, words heard,
words said, maps of the body, feet next to sex,
happiness glowing in the left frontal cortex,
grief with no words in the right, fear bright
in the amygdala, self here, consciousness
of self there, and mirrors of your mouth, hands,
movements everywhere, intention a latecomer—
what is it to live in this body, these bones,
the world entering in a river of light and sound,
smell of cut grass, gravity’s tug?

Now the indigo buntings
are singing insistently in the walnut tree,
their flashes of metallic blue a color
that was never sky, and wild phlox the shade
of rainy cloud are releasing a perfume
that makes the bumblebees wild. Wind
gusts the daisy patch and green rises up
on a great scaffold of branches
into the building thunderheads.

All that pours in,
first spatter of rain, sound of your voice,
this inner life that is a singing underground—
who can point to bone or brain and say—
there’s the river running through?