Susan Cohen


My body, …

it is not the earth I will miss,
it is you I will miss. –  Louise Gluck

I say good riddance to my body,
its conspiracy of veins
and bowels and vertebrae.
I can trust a deer to pick its way
through trees, a daffodil
to bully its way through frost. Once, 
I saw the silhouette of a baby seal
held inside the translucence of a wave
like a portrait in a locket. How quartz 
threads through rock, and a heron 
threads through air then lands 
and stills to a piece of quartz.
The way even weeds flower. Just now
the dullest brown bird appeared,
clumsy at our feeder, and picked
at soggy seed. I watched the quiver
of its tail while it fed its hunger. 
Need I say bodies must be fed?
I say the earth is the body I will miss.
Even if I could only touch it dis-
embodied, send a shiver 
down the outstretched limb
of a single eucalyptus.
Even if I could touch down only
in the linear brittle body
of a dragonfly, one evening, 
some rank bog, skim 
the skin and flit.