Rain seems so appropriate at the end of a holiday weekend, but this Monday poem is not about rain, but a selection from a new anthology I just finished reviewing for ZYZZYVA, In the Shape of a Human Body I Am Visiting the Earth: Poems Far and Wide, published jointly by McSweeney’s and Poetry International. The review will appear soon on their blog. In the meantime, here is the title poem:
In the shape of a human body I am visiting the earth
In the shape of a human body
I am visiting the earth;
the trees visit
in the shapes of trees.
Standing between the onions
and the dandelions
near the ailanthus and the bus stop,
I don’t live more thoroughly
inside the mucilage of my own skull
than outside of it
and not more behind my eyes
than in what I can see with them.
I inhale whatever air
that grates breathe in the street.
My arms and legs still work,
I can run if I have to
or sit motionless purposefully
until I am here and I am not here
the way death is present
in things that are alive
like salsa music
and the shrill laughter of the bride
as she leaves the wedding
or the bald child playing jacks
outside the wigshop.