Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tuesday Poem: from my April Daily Poem Notebook

filigree out, against the dark background,
like thin branches, rivers, roots, arteries
veins, winding country roads, mapping
a woman, the nerves of her brain outlining
a skull, the eyeballs attached gazing out at us,
the nerves of the arms spreading wider
than arms, more like billowing sleeves
leading down to the hands, the nerves of the legs
curving wide as a full skirt, looking gauzy 
and sheer as hand made lace, giving her 
girth and presence, the channels of her 
pleasure and pain, memorializing 
a lifetime of sensation.

A woman donates her body to science,
and doctors make her into an archeological dig,
painstakingly excavating her fragile
nerve network, easing them out of muscle
and flesh, cleaning away all fat and blood,
until she is a white tree reaching down
toward the earth, all twig and root,
eyes seared by light, no longer
protected by sinew and bone,
attached to a delicate net cast wider
than the body that once contained it,
as if she were frayed into tatters
by all she’s seen, heard, felt, tasted, smelled.

This is what a women wears
beneath the skin: a big lacy dress of pain
pulsing along from synapse to synapse,
and global gushes of pleasure that travel
everywhere at once, galactic as the Milky Way,
nerves that reach beyond the body’s tidy
boundaries, rivering out to connect with
a matrix of others, until we come undone.
We moan, and flush, tremble, holler, and weep.
And men are driven to make it into geography.