Katie Griffiths – How the body holds

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”:

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Katie Griffiths
Katie Griffiths grew up in Ottawa, Canada, in a family originally from Northern Ireland. In 2019 she was awarded second prize in the National Poetry Competition with ‘Do not indulge indigo’ and had the pleasure of reading her own Spanish translation of the poem at the Cosmopoética festival in Cordoba, Spain. Her pamphlet “My Shrink is Pregnant” (illustrated by Anna Steinberg) was a winner in the Live Canon pamphlet competition. In 2016 she was published in “Primers: Volume One” by Nine Arches Press, which this year also brought out her first full-length collection, “The Attitudes”. A member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen and Red Door Poets, Katie is also singer-songwriter in the band “A Woman in Goggles”.