Friday, January 6, 2012

"No, soul doesn't leave the body."

Disappearing Act
by Eleanor Ross Taylor

No, soul doesn't leave the body.

My body is leaving my soul.
Tired of turning fried chicken and
coffee to muscle and excrement,
tried of secreting tears, wiping them,
tired of opening eyes on another day,
tired especially of that fleshy heart,
pumping, pumping. More,
that brain spinning nightmares.
Body prepares:
disconnect, unplug, erase.

But here, I think, a smallish altercation
Soul seems to shake its fist.
Wants brain? Claims dreams and nightmares?
Maintains a codicil bequeathes it shares?

There'll be a fight. A deadly struggle.
We know, of course, who'll win. . . .

But who's this, watching?

*Eleanor Ross Taylor died Dec. 30, 2011 at the age of 91. Chapter 16 has posted a tribute to her, with remembrances from Mark Jarman, Claudia Emerson, and others.

Profile of an Old Woman, Gustav Klimt (1862–1918)

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