The Body’s Legends
When someone remembers a legend of ice, cold wet spears pierce the body’s
memory, a chilled floundering skewered to the uncertainty of small heavy throbs, its
enveloping night descending like a tide welcomed back from some ancient rhythm of
Place one on the subject’s tongue. He swallows and you search for it all over his
body. By morning it will be so familiar it will blend with the dawn, accompany you when
If I let myself in, and live there, inside my skin, there would still be enough space
for all my shrinking and my doubt, but they might finally come to some agreement and
think about wrapping themselves up in the appearances that might eventually replace me.
And if I could finally live inside my shoes, I might let myself out without leaving,
alone in two containers that tell you where I’ve been.
If I notice the crow sitting silently in the pine tree inside the dream, head hunched
into his shoulder, and wonder what he is dreaming, it’s because he has escaped me and
has no fear, and I am looking for the dream that takes me there.
It’s a long way out of your mind to come into your body. I leave myself an escape
saying I decided not to have been there. You have not been there as well, and you left an
equal absence. I thought of attending it as I did my own.
Oh many times I didn’t do that. I turned around in our memory and walked out,
trying not to remember what I had done, into the room where I kept the untouched parts.
One version of both of us was seeing around others known to have been seeing
around others. As one we sat up late on the stove.
Unattended falling. A new pleasure of it.
There were stories in which my silly little mouse translation invented my
movement away, but I had to find something to live in before trading it. I visited the shop
by the wharf with things in formaldehyde that don’t make sense. I moved into a
chambered aerialist. I took a bath in a large dish of peas. One of the memories offered
me a big wad of ceiling to sleep on.
The song you used to sing shot itself and lived.
Somewhere in your hair the night is melting. I might go there and wait for
morning. I might grow my face longer, with a pointed chin. I might move in. I might
mumble about what has left me and it wouldn’t be you.
I might put my hand in it. I might follow. I might return and return so that I might
leave myself behind. I might fail to do so.
I might find you again, failing, all absence growing fonder, a great swoon of
endless falling, itself falling away. I might remember this when I do not know I am
Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.