This Here Body of Mine

In this body,
I’ve known love.
I’ve known despair
and joy
held together by a
vulnerable thread of
near invisible hope.
At times these have been
my only reasons for
containing breath.

In this body,
this fallible body,
I’ve taunted death;
fearfully so…
in hopes of hopscotching
in, out, ‘neath and over impressions
of souls that have held me dear,
but no longer here
in forms I recognise.

This very body,
seared by grief,
has ripened my soul far too quick
and kneaded my heart to a pulp.
I walk the earth prepared
to scrape and skin a knee…
to clean other wounds while
neglecting my own.
But I keep scolding my inner spirit,
“How will you heal others
while you yourself limp and bleed”
It works for a season,
but loops back into old, hard to kill habits.

This stubborn body,
never learns.
It wants to make me
make it proud,
for hiding things where it knows
I’ll find them.
It hides joy in plain sight.
Hides pride in my gait
so I don’t think about it.
It uses my voice as a purse
for currency to buy my way into
locked, unsuspecting ears with
corridors that lead to flammable
minds ready to burn
new torches of unignited thought.

This very body,
with its scars, cuts and bruises,
keeps tipping in light’s direction-
to reveal, heal in full exposure,
what fear begs it not to write…
what dread scolds it not to sing…
what trepidation chokes it from speaking…
what doubt bullies it into not exploring…
what prejudice atrophies it from believing.

By Frank Malaba

Frank Malaba

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