The Author to His Body on Their Fifteenth Birthday, 29 ii 80

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“There’s never a dull moment in the human body.”
—The Insight Lady
Dear old equivocal and closest friend, 
Grand Vizier to a weak bewildered king, 
Now we approach The Ecclesiastean Age
Where the heart is like to go off inside your chest 
Like a party favor, or the brain blow a fuse 
And the comic-book light-bulb of Idea black out 
Forever, the idiot balloon of speech 
Go blank, and we shall know, if it be knowing, 
The world as it was before language once again;

Mighty Fortress, maybe already mined 
And readying to blow up grievances 
About the lifetime of your servitude,
The body of this death one talkative saint 
Wanted to be delivered of (not yet!), 
Aggressively asserting your ancient right 
To our humiliation by the bowel
Or the rough justice of the elderly lecher’s 
Retiring from this incontinence to that;

Dark horse, it’s you we’ve put the money on 
Regardless, the parody and satire and
The nevertheless forgiveness of the soul 
Or mind, self, spirit, will or whatever else
The ever-unknowable unknown is calling itself
This time around—shall we renew our vows? 
How should we know by now how we might do 
Divorced? Homely animal, in sickness and health, 
For the duration; buddy, you know the drill.

© Howard Nemerov