THE BODY PROTECTS ITSELF, DOESN'T IT?
it must want to be saved, after it betrays itself
because I fell on grass
not on brick in the center of baton rouge
in a mid-city darkening with Sunday evening
not the 9-5 week closing in around us like buildings along the man-
made lake and everyone had already gone to church
and there were people on porches and bricks unevenly laid beneath what looked
like my sneakered feet
as I entered the rigid state:
fell over, stiff and safe, only bled a little from the mouth
onto grass, and left a body that no longer belonged to me, if it
ever had—left it for something less slim and became
the street sign, an unnatural green and the white lettering of Perkins Rd.
And when I looked at the police officer, I became him. And this “I”
that “I”, so slender, embodied
became broader until I was a container, a vase, a glass bottle & filled with a Louisiana city
until I was not inside anything at all and like the oxygen they gave me later,
no one could see me but then in the bitterness that happens when you know you’re a person again:
knew I was young, knew I would maybe feel beautiful
again knew the approximate year. but the body must protect itself because rigid—
so rigid and seized—no one could hurt me, not even me.
fiction poetry "fact" photography