From What the Welsh
and Chinese Have In Common
Life In The Body
The man in the door way is tired
of the weight in his chest.
Some mornings he can hardly bring
his breath into the house.
He looks at the river and spits
at the memory of his first fish,
its lidless eye
fogging over, its color washing to ash.
The fins throbbing its scales dry
gave a gentleness as it stilled.
The fish felt cool in his hands
like wine he bought
on evenings after his catch was sold,
like his wife's gauze blouse
that hid its buttons too well.
He looks at the river, then closes the door.
Now comes the time of small movements,
his hands telling his muscles to relax,
the old stories settling into his joints.
Sometimes it is hard to remember
the life in the body, but tonight
in his sleep it speaks with him.
Finally he wakes up
and stares at his hands.
Sweat beads them.
He is glad to turn from the river,
to watch himself watch
his breath cling to the window,
a mist that hesitates
between the rails of a bridge.
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