by Elisabeth von Uhl
Bodies are fragile. A universe wrapped
inside molecules inside particles
of magic, science, and a divine always
choked by a political doctrine: you have always
wanted new bodies; yours never
had enough beauty, enough resilience, enough white.
So now, you will wish for bleached perfection: bodies that never broke
and needed to heal, bodies that never
fought sadness, bodies that were never sold, bodies
that were never violated, bodies that never protest. But, you forget bodies
were birthed from lush suffering: never a thriving plant
in a planned garden. Both creations, an alloy of blood
and dirt were a genetic mutation — a violent DNA burgeon that took more
than six days; you were never mirrored in a single image before
a day of rest. Yet, you put knee on neck into a vein of breath,
with your revelry, your desire to be god with your full body weight:
with you wearing black gloves to protect from a shadow
that stains hands and dirt that clings under fingers’ nails.
The vein of your breath more valued, your silence more heard
as he pleaded for his “mama” as he saw past spines shattered
into fields. As you closed his gasp with your sauntered lean
on that stem in a garden of flawed roses: you were the thorn
with your roots deep in soil rarely raked,
rarely cultivated for fear of you being shit.
Elisabeth von Uhl‘s work has been published in Lunch Ticket, The Cortland Review, SHIFT, Cream City Review, and other journals. Her chapbook, Ocean Sea, which was a semi-finalist in the Black Lawrence Press Chapbook Contest, has been published by Finishing Line Press. Please go to www.elisabethvonuhl.com for more information.