Keeps Me Here

I have been sitting at a desk.

I am sitting at a desk thinking about my body.

My body, which rose with me this morning and is settled with me now.

But nothing escapes into another realm,

even when my mind takes to the field

or folds its body into a corner

or jumps into a wide canyon

or laughs into a starless oblivion,

my body stays put

even if I’m stirring to escape myself.

So, I am sitting in a desk, trying to breathe into a space,

wanting to think about sex, not wanting to think about sex

and how I miss my silent space,

my long spine, or book, sliding into a yield,

a yield where I wrote about God

and dust, about you and how I miss your emails!

So, I’m sitting at a desk, reading essays by Roethke,

wondering about my contemporaries

and how the man I’ve never met, texted me that he felt separated

from what? I texted back

from God, he texted. From you.

But we’ve never met but I know what he means,

I know what it means to want to be a bit lighter,

just a tad, just a lifting off the window

or a sliding about the edge.

How my brain works and doesn’t work

even when I sit for hours in a bath and tell myself

“but you couldn’t sleep with women”

No, I can’t sleep with women, but I sleep with voices,

like when I was a child in a bunk bed and in my head the kitchen sang out.

It sang out and I felt lighter, I felt power within like a source where God stood and said, Yes, Child, I have spoken to you.

And there wasn’t a doubt, and if I walked to the kitchen, there would be angels.

I wonder why God has to be in a business suit.

No, really, he’s in a business suit.

Last week, a man was doing Tai Chi in the middle of Grand Central, his suitcase against the wall. I had to stand there for four minutes and watch him, because I didn’t believe it.

There’s another man I’ve never met who wrote me an email, just now, about how, when hope fades, maybe the intellect is a threat.

Maybe, then, it’s most dangerous when we know there’s an exit.

An exit as is Glenn Gould’s piano was an exit.

As though a lover’s curved side is an exit

and the pull on my mid-section when I see the red dessert in pictures, when Utah is a drive away,

but, the man doing tai chi created an exit in grand central.

And if I don’t weep, right now, at my desk at work, books around me as though God is found in its words, as if my center lies in their spine–

if I don’t weep right now, I’ll pull at my body in fear of breaking,

I’ll scream in the car, driving home,

because I watched a video of Gerald Stern, I watched him dance through his words a kinder man for his honesty,

and what’s keeping me from weeping but the world of the body,

not the spirit. Not the spirit. It’s not the spirit that keeps me here.

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