Extreme Behaviour 101you dream of a tree on your back, a crowon your shoulder, whispering to you,feathers floating free,the wind covering your body like awild animal, you have no more rulesfor this body.you write a love poemfor the uninterested--tuck it under the mattress for ayounger generation to findor the man who comes to take your bedafter you move away into the hills,never to be seen again.there comes a time for phone calls to homefor phone service to extend into the universewhere you've hidden among the exploded supernovasin an attempt to fix things that you didn't break.mother's spasming hands that drop dishes to the cold tile,reading has become a special occasiononly to be done while researching something unnamed.you cannot name the forces at workbehind your eyes or learn how your bones hold togetherwithout reading it over & over, reciting it in your headuntil all you can think of is how pointless it is to be held togetherwhen it's so easy to be taken apart.adam's rib so e
body memorythere was white sand on the white shore,cresting into blue, the salt a light film on the body,you stand knee-deep and dive hard into anoncoming wave, feel the bone-deep rush,know what life was as a dolphin, feel the sharkrise inside you, flat-eyed, burned out,nothing but the open sea
things you don't tell in group therapyI open an artery in my arm.Not where you would expect, but where the nurses,tired and annoyed, finally find a place close to the surface of my arm,where my heart beats, lightly, on the outside of the bend in my elbow.I do not know what to expect or even that it will work, butI am scrambling to grab a t-shirt as blood swells like arising tide, flooding the white pillowcases crimson,slipping down the inside of my thighs likeI have only just becomea woman.I dive into my body.If I can see it, I will understand. I will knowsome secret of breaking and healing.My arm heats like a furnace and I start to get shocksto my shoulder and fingertips -a living body looks nothing like a corpse and yetthey place a dead body in front of us,white gloves and a clipboard and I spend the hour gentlytracing the winding roads of the brain.
blood poisoningOnce you've had a baby you don't care aboutpeople contemplating your cervix. It's waitingfor the call. Or the letter because your new phonedoesn't have voicemail. Mostly normal.It's as good as these things get.There was a shift change when I had my daughterso the night nurses leaned on the wall in the back ofthe cheerful room and the day nurses touched my arm,the inside of my knee, everyone laughing and cheeringand yelling PUSHand then there was you.And a lot of blood, I could feel it rushing away frommy body, my host of hosts, my living flesh, thequick stitches, the pressure worse than the contractions,my long, graceful daughter calling for my arms,my open body, undone.I thought about love and you and how I've relearned totype quickly because I finally hit the jackpot, I finallydove deep enough into my body to find the veinand my heart beating like a tiny bird pulses bloodand you only think about repercussions later.Buy a tattoo, a coyote wrapped around your ankle