Poem Without Bodies

Friday, January 15, 2021

I want to make the body into sky.
                                              – Anish Kapoor, on his sculpture Marsyas (2002), Turbine Hall, Tate Modern


No, I can’t imagine it–– I, the taut tongue in an unsheltered
             mouth dizzy with the earth as it turns
and turns. At least let me be skin. Something beneath skin.

             What is direction in a fabric which shivers everywhere?
O heaven flayed hoarse until the red edge
             of your tender,

am I most seen when I escape sight?

It is possible nowhere
to view the whole sky. To flee blood’s plump, smooth brawl
             and still contain. Endless sprint of shadows
never still, show me what it is to strip and churn

             into silence. To stun. To be enormous
             and mortal at once.

I have prayed and prayed that love was only fear
             hung out in a bright field to dry. What else would the wind in me leave

to offer up for conversion? O furious everything,

what’s the use of becoming the world
             if you cannot see the world. Tell me

what it is to be cradled by nothing at all.

Friday, January 15, 2021