HPN

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Poetry of Issue #8        Page 36

A Disembodiment

You claim I look crucified
today, my downturn stark
and almost exemplary enough
to cancel the true religion.

Ice retains its grip on ponds
too small for serious drownings.
The brown woods lust for brushfires
to clear decades of debris.

You wonder if the latest
virus has mesmerized me,
whether expensive but useless
patent medicines apply.

They can’t heal crucifixions,
but can ease certain symptoms,
like the arthritis in my hands
and the muscle pain from walking

six miles on the rain-slick roads.
Today those nostrums won’t help,
not with my ego deflated
like last summer’s party balloon.

It’s good to humble one’s self
by comparing a sinus headache
to the rough of a crown of thorns.
It’s useful to make a fist,

despite the arthritis, and think
how a nail through the palm would feel.
But why do you see crucifixion
when you peer through my glasses

at my ordinary hazel eyes?
You know that my faith in stones
precludes a spiritual life.
You know that the shadow [stanza break]

of erasure looms behind me,
sighing and wringing its hands.
Spring bares certain body parts
for the benefit of everyone.

But I’ll stay indoors and press myself,
like a flower, into a book.
Don’t worry about my pained
and nearsighted expression.

It’s not social or political.
It’s only a disembodiment
waiting to occur in private
like plants coming up in the dark.

William Doreski