lifetime experience of the body
optimistic layers of cells keep
from the basement membrane (as if
the goal were anything wonderful
be on the outside reflecting part,
faint imitation of industry within:
the cations jostling with intent purpose
through channel pores, transforming
all information into electricity, leaving
only two ways to go: cleave or
excite or rest, making the self-jolts
of the buried heart, stubborn
and thickenings, their meaning gone missing,
a collection of pulses
that respond the same dumb way
to lust, fear,
climbing the stairs,
invisibly spending heat into the air
not asked, stories that started
one way and failed into crushing endings).
oh, the naïve germinals, how they push on,
how they divide. how they
for the sloughing moment and imagine
they will renew (but skin
is only a resume
of waste: scars, scabs, picked places,
curriculum vitae of secretions).
© 1997 Jessica Manke (bio)
on back for more poems.
To share your poem, send email to stories -AT- FWHC.org
out of context I must seem so strange."
- Ani DiFranco