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State Route

December 25, 2018

I was driving through Kirkwood, NY
on a Sunday morning.
Scenic lines of strip clubs
dot the highway next to
the abandoned insane asylum
(live! girls! DO NOT ENTER)-
Rusted train tracks bend
and shimmy along state route 17-


I was suddenly very aware of
the space my own body took up-
all legs and arms and torso
(lopsided, crooked, fleshy!)
barreling down the road at
seventy miles per hour,


bodies in motion,
hellish bodies peeling back layers
showing skeletons underneath,
and the fine musculature attached
with skinny tendons,
pull pull pulling on one another-

 

a toothless man pulls
bottles and cans from the recycling bin
outside my apartment building
(HI ME 5¢)
rattling them around in a big sack-
I imagine it is full of bones,
sun bleached and cracked along marrowy fissures-

 

I wish I could dance in bare bones,
wish I had the right words to
expel the hollow tapping behind my sternum-
a hot tide of syrupy shame seeps
through the cracks in my ribs,
leaks out my pores,
my heart is painted blue and gold,
it shimmers like glass-

 

I wish my body could sit still
for a moment,
wish my shimmering heart would rest,
slow its rapid murmur and
let there be beautiful silence.
I am tearing through thin air.
I have no brakes, no speed limits, no flashing yellow lights,
bugs squished across the windshield of my high forehead
(gnats, mosquitoes, flies)-
my body is not a temple.
no, my body is not a temple,
my body is a highway.

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