Fourth Sense

I stop for several moments,
permit my spine to straighten
against the inch of foam

that tops the hardwood board
I have upon my bed in lieu
of mattress. (My husband does

not like unyielding, he calls it
the torture rack and instead
submerges nightly in a pillow-

top’s embrace.) But it is
here I reconnect with my own
surface, the meter and a half

of uncured leather I wear
daily. I close my eyes and in
the blindness stay completely

still, try to find each hinge
by focusing attention where
I think it is, sonar-pings

sent into darkness, waiting
for an answering ache or itch
or tickle. Then I move along,

still sounding in the dark,
seek out and find an ankle,
an elbow, a hip. I scan and

map these surfaces I have
ignored all day, volume on
the touch-sense turned down

low. I let attention brush
each joint for just a moment,
give each one a quick

permission to emerge from
the repression, then move on,
hold fast upon the rack:

while joy—like the rush
of an incoming wave—
kisses all my skin.

In response to/inspired by Luisa A. Igloria’s “A dress:“, ending with lines from Robert K. Johnson’s “Eighty-five.”

7 Replies to “Fourth Sense”

  1. Laura this is lovely–the journey of attention, mindfulness, leading to that sudden rush of joy–a place comfort cannot take us to, the inverse of sensory denial–wonderfully said!

  2. I felt (the) pain in this; I felt it all through. Don’t know if I was meant to, because I didn’t see comfort or joy like Mary, in the above comment, did . But what a profound poem this is!

  3. You could have been leading our meditation last night with these words. Absolutely beautiful, and so mindful … and re-mindful, too.

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