Coupled above the asphalt

Kay McKenzie Cooke

· Poem of the day

Coupled above the asphalt

My body has cells that will not be scattered

by anything other than the sound of the sea.

Its hands are as wrinkled as a petrified forest

or a crushed satin dress.

My body can instantly recall the smell of leaking ink

and the sight of white butterflies

coupled above the asphalt.

My body cannot heal itself except in a mirror,

my mind removed so far as it is

from its own scaffolding, its skeletal frame.

My body has heard a million lawnmowers,

a thousand times the sound of a dog lapping water,

likes the smell of fermenting plums, dark-red,

defaced by birds.

My body remembers the smell of fat, of grass,

of fresh earth. My body tastes salt on its lips,

the sting from a cut on the side of its tongue.

My body watches. Breathes. Fingers the bark of a tree,

the seed, the grain, the white meat inside the shell.

Like a dog that likes to be where its owner is,

my body likes to be where I am.

—Kay McKenzie Cooke (Kay's website); appeared in "Canopic Jar 35: an anthology"

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