How the body holds
its comforts and suggestions.
How it castigates and swelters.
Or hardens at night, tough as dirt.
How it holds intent like extent
and by that, how it holds hope,
spread like a mat.
How it thinks it is fixable.
Will lie on an operating table
and soak sheets with piss,
blood and fight.
Will take cure-alls,
and eat other creatures’ organs.
How the body nurses grudges,
its intestines as trenches.
A long voyage.
Contortions and turns.
Food: it hits the mark.
Daily target practice.
How the body is a hero’s circle
of infringements and hideaways.
A sublime store.
How it subsides under another’s weight
only to crack and give up
its open-mouthed children.
How it holds daybreak
until it can no longer.
from The Attitudes (Nine Arches Press, 2021):
Katie Griffiths reading “How the body holds”: