Touch: The Journal of Healing



The Work of the Body

    by David Anthony Sam

Breathe into the pain, she said.

Our muscles tend to gain our losses

and remember. That must explain

those places where death has entered

and remains. How the touch into

a certain tenderness brings forth

the hidden sorrow. How sorrows

gather in knots and ache themselves

to our dull awareness when we

seek to fall asleep after long days.

Breathe in the pain, locate yourself

there where a father passed and left

his memory in your sinew, a mother

held her last word into the story

she inscribed in fasciae, where long

ago a dog died into the joint he

jammed while dragging you down

stairs to his daily run along alleys.

Our muscles contain our lives, make

power from our memories, walk us.

The work the body does is more than

what the physicist makes formula,

more than what the anatomist

describes. The body etches biography

into our bones, leaves indentations

and striations in the hard remnants

that abandon us at our own dying.

Breathe with the pain, she said; know

it and become it and it remains, no

longer minding our exhaling here.

© 2015  David Anthony Sam

David Anthony Sam has written poetry for over 40 years and has two collections, including Memories in Clay, Dreams of Wolves (2014). He lives in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda, and currently serves as president of Germanna Community College. In 2014-15, he had poems accepted by American Tanka, Artemis Journal, The Birds We Pile Loosely, Carbon Culture Review, The Crucible, FLARE: The Flager Review, From the Depths, Heron Tree, Hound, Literature Today. On the Rusk, Piedmont Virginian Magazine, The Scapegoat Review, The Summerset Review, and The Write Place at the Write Time.

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Touch: The Journal of Healing

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