Circle of Words by featured artist Jamila Clarke
Behold: The Body
In the supermarket,
I dodge bodies,
some don’t even know I am there:
a woman in a fedora
young children leaning their tiny masses
against the gummy bears,
chocolate kisses, and plush animals.
The boyfriends swallow their girlfriends
next to the cosmetics
and the old man with his hard swelling lungs
stands at the pharmacy.
His eyes tell of yellowed cigarettes
And then the airport:
Porters call me by my wheelchair.
Perhaps they never see my face,
don’t know if I was a Sir
or a Ma’am. In this moment,
I am nothing more than an object;
clunky metal and two batteries
bound together by thin wire.
As the TSA agent grabs my mass of
an ass, he forgets about the fused spine
I just told him about; forgets that my
shoes just won’t come off, this time or ever.
San Francisco is calling me.
In the evening
when my lover comes to bed me
is the first time anyone has met my gaze
As his body sprawls across mine
my floating kneecaps are reminded
of the painfree solace that comes when
his weight is pressed upon them.
He digs his grey nails into my skin, and
I am reminded how wonderful touch is;
how wonderful it is to know
that someone knows you are there.
As he finishes thrusting into me,
the Golden Gate Bridge is somewhere
over there in the distance.
For a glimpse of a second, I wonder
what it would be like to jump, skip, run
while wide awake and present.