This body’s breath
caught sharp and held

I hold it and like water
it escapes my fingers and spills
over my toes
when I am thirsty
asking too much from my body
when I am not enough

I give it tea and fruit and poisons
I exhale the fumes of the vices
herbal or smoky and fine
licking at these wet fingers
that let a pen scratch
let a word be plucked
from a curl of steam

this body’s breath
will learn it can’t hold what is borrowed

and maybe then stop
cupping and drinking
hold and take nothing
it’s enough just to breathe

let the vices unthread from the seams
of the spine into origami wings
taking flight in paper vees
and leave me in the water




Real Toad’s Saturday prompt on “Remains”

30 thoughts on “Pages

  1. We do ask too much of our bodies, and we take them for granted.. I know mine would like to be left alone to rest, or wallow in water.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, the original sin we committed against our own bodies. Wishing to be more than what we are. “Vapor” is somewhere between breath and air, the perfect latitude for this poem where “enough” truly is. The foil of everything we raid from tinfoil. Last stanza’s sheer howitzer.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh yes we do need both the fruit and poisons don’t we… to be there and giving the body what it craves instead of constantly denying it… maybe we are just indoctrinated that there is a difference between what’s vice and wise.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Super hard lessons to learn– I’m not sure if possible for me though your poem’s message about what comes from that borrowing is so powerful. Thanks, Amy, for the poem– and thanks too btw for your very kind comments on my wall piece. K.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the origami closing and the sentiment of not needing anything here:

    “and maybe then stop
    cupping and drinking
    hold and take nothing
    it’s enough just to breathe”

    Such a complete feeling.

    Lovely write!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A rich composite of what is used, what may become used up, what remains alive, and the word from the pen that finds and feeds that ink. Fathoms deep poetry, as rippling and light as a still pool, but indigo as infinite sky. Such a deep pleasure to read your work, Amy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. To give up our vices, which we feel sometimes fuel our creativity, would be difficult, although restorative. Always these choices.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was completely taken by the image painted first five lines. I saw the speaker’s body melting, and found myself reaching for my hips… looking at my bare toes on the floor (hoping the latter was cleaned) in case of spilling. I love the abstract and concrete descriptions birthed by your poetry… what it says about the way we see ourselves and what makes us… This is a story written on flesh and memory. Pure yum! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “when I am not enough
    I give it tea and fruit and poisons”

    Oooh….this is so thought-provoking…..the idea that when I am not enough, I give my body poisons. Hmmm….and, later….that maybe it is just enough to breathe…and the imagery of those origami wings….oh so delicious 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s