Our Earthly Bodies

Day 13
Poem 12

About the poetic happenings on my commute home tonight. The title was taken from the woman’s workbook.

Our Earthly Bodies

I make myself small, try to be a secret. There’s a man
coming down the Metro car, hands full of papers and it isn’t
until he’s close that I can hear his call over the train hum:
Poetry? Poetry? I unfold, open my mouth, waiting for him
to drop the words into me, knowing at once
it was a mistake. You can’t just buy a love poem
from some man on a train. I give it back, wishing
it was good enough to make me pay, and go small again
until he moves on to the next stop, the next car.

The woman beside me sits wide, lap full with a Bible
and a self-help workbook with an exclamation point title.
She follows the instructions, fills the page with everything
in 1 Corinthians that has a body, with men and fish-birds
and the word heavenly. She knows I’m looking, cheating
off her answers, saving up her words to become my own.
I fold towards the window, guarding my own writings,
make myself small, try to be a secret.

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