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Aesthetica Arts & Culture

ANIMAL BODY

 

Before the mind awakes

the animal body remembers

the smell of salt and storms,

wood smoke and moldering leaves,

the muddy odor of marshes

 

Before the mind awakes

the animal body remembers itself

empty of language, empty of plans

and ideas, empty of daylight's surge

through shrouds of glass & asphalt

 

Before the mind awakes

the animal body still feels

its vanished companions

 

Before the mind awakes

the animal body

turns in its familiar bed

in its own easy limbs

against the cotton quilt

under the open window

in the brush of dawn

 

Then the mind rushes back.

It remembers its missing objects

and the foolish mind

asleep on the night watch

startles into its defenses

 

It organizes the weapons

and calls forth the armies

and the animal body forgets

its ever present small happiness.

It no longer feels

the embrace of beauty

 

Thus the body's bereavement

is complete. We rise

and step into words

and calendars and clocks

and the long long grief.

 

 

Aesthetica Annual - magazine exploring contemporary art & design, film, music & performance with a special annual issue of poetry & fiction.