body and soul

Suppose it’s true: that as you walk,
another is walking within you, perfectly
coterminous with your own walking.
Suppose it’s true that as you sit,
another sits within, weathering you,
like the coal inside the ember.
I don’t like to think that our bodies
are mere vessels — or vassals —
but suppose it’s true. It might explain
these odd, apparently random urges
to hold & be held, or to lose ourselves
through concentration: the not-us within
wants to reach the not-us without.
It might explain why, as we slowly
tighten around our cores,
strands of white begin to appear
on our heads, an extra light glimmers
behind the eyes, & a network of cracks
under the skin begins to offer glimpses
of an inner blue. Suppose it’s literally true
that heaven is within. Would even this
be as illuminating as the knowledge
that we are risen from the ocean,
descended from the trees?

Ending re-written 8/8/13. For the original poem, listen to the recording in the following post, Doubletake.

In response to a Read Write Poem challenge to make use of repetition. Other responses are linked here.

And speaking of RWP, I have a guest column there today, Poetry out loud: audio blogging for poets. Feedback on that from anyone with experience in audio blogging or podcasting would be very much appreciated.

7 Replies to “Supposition”

  1. As we slowly tighten around our cores
    I especially liked that bit of positive thinking, and the idea that my blue might be beginning to show through…

    And a nice piece on audio recording, Dave! I’m sure you’ll be putting a link to it at qarrtsiluni…?

  2. Me too. Stunning poem – I shudder with scared but delighted recognition at so much of it, perhaps especially – like Beth, both of us being of a certain age – at the ‘tightening around our core’ and the ‘glimpse of inner blue’.

    This hits a spot already sensitised by my current reading of Orhan Pamuk’s novel, The Black Book, an astonishing work that spins endless stories within stories about identity, doubles, the creation and dissolution of the sense of self and home within history and space.

  3. and ‘the not-us within
    wants to reach the not-us without’ – oh! What a perfect evocation of the realisation that these impulses are as futile as they are primal

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