The Weight of a Body

Sometimes I feel I am barely a body,
a tenant by chance in a lodging of flesh.
Its hunger, its sweat, its carnal desire
seem to weigh down the flight in my chest.

A temple, a gift, a lease on this life —
I’m supposed to be finite and yet satisfied?
And what of this nagging, persnickety tug
on my heartstrings? Damn, he’s so cute I could die.

I’m more mind than meatbag, or so I might think;
I’m inclined to decline the things it requests.
I’ll mind-over-matter it! That is, until
the weight of my body makes clear its behest.

The things that I’d do to be by his side…
WAIT NO. You stop that. Dumb body. Behave.
Just take a deep breath and try to be cool;
he’ll think you’re a weirdo — or worse yet, he’s straight.

I’ll try to remember that bodies are good,
though twisted and tongue-tied’s my talking untucked.
I wish I could scrape off the rust in my brain,
’cause right now it’s busy repeating “oh HECK.”

It’s okay, it’s fine. EVERYTHING’S FINE.
He’s laughing; that’s good. He believes I’m not a socially-anxious-overanalyzer-who-focuses-way-too-much-on-everything-that-could-go-wrong.
At least then today I’ve made a new friend!
But don’t hold your breath — you’ve talked far too long.

As soon as it’s over, I’m proud of myself.
I didn’t seem crazy or over-the-top.
The weight of my body keeps dragging me down,
but I’m thankful for vocals that know when to stop.

And though I’m confounded by much of my form,
it’s taught me a lot about knowing oneself.
The hunger reminds me of how much I’m blessed;
the sweat keeps me humble and thankful for health.

The hole in my heart is a question to ask —
will I still find meaning in life lived alone?
Yet surely it isn’t a sin to desire
the weight of a body pressed down on my own.

I wonder if Jesus felt weighed down like me.
Does being embodied mean feeling askew?
Or maybe it’s simply a matter of space:
that I am a body to be here with you.

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Ephemera

Today I fell in love with phantoms,
serenading sand and light,
watching from their weeping ashes
memories of joy and strife.

We built ourselves a house of paper
wilting underneath the rain,
kneeling in a soft cathedral,
singing hymns to ease the pain.

Taking up our fists of gravel,
burnished dust, and frozen stone,
carving out a refuge world
from a war of flesh and bone;

Steadied by those iron bastards,
whetted arms by sparkèd force
blazing into hellish glory
shedding corpse by silver corpse.

Those haven walls became our downfall —
buried by the broken glass,
dust to dust from earth surrender,
scattered by the sky to pass.

Yet flowing on, our phantoms echo
through the silent stream of life,
building us a new cathedral,
safe from every storm and blight.

But even strongholds fixed of iron
crumble to the sands of time;
still every moment founds the next,
an ever living-dying rhyme.

The phantoms which I call beloved
are known to be ephemera,
the phoenix ashes spread among
the flowers in memoriam.

So to your grave I take my love,
my hate, my joy, my guilt, my peace…
knowing each new path begins
with letting go. With setting free.