Impression of: If My Body Could Speak by Blythe Baird.
I read this book at a restaurant while eating my first meal of the day.
I am recovered and recovering still, learning new ways to love myself that I never knew could exist. Even as I grow, I sometimes struggle to remember how many times a day I require filling, how much fuel it takes to make it through.
Lately, I have been re-negotiating the terms of this remembering.
I may not always remember to eat, but that is only an excuse until I remember it.
So I was standing in front of a restaurant with a book, and I was feeling busy and full in my life (aren’t we all mostly busy nowadays? even though busy isn’t really a feeling?) so I had all the more reason to pause.
Sitting down with my book, I started reading before my server approached the table and my eyes were already teary from the opening poem by the time they arrived.
My server smiled slightly, looking at my book to see what I was reading. I was grateful that this was not the first time I wept subtly in public while waiting for my food.
I ordered my meal and continued reading.
The poems remind me of teen femmepoetics of the 90s, margin culture of queer tongues, back when I used ampersands in pairs (&&) and used line breaks to introduce the solids of my diction into the sensitivity of starvation.
These poems were fistfuls of glitter and a deep scream for claiming space and being seen. For years of therapy and what it means to be a body being abused and broken, a body breaking, a body shifting, a body healing, a body growing, a body remembering.
In academia, poets are covered in amber and glass, held apart like butterfly wings on archival quality paper. What once held a body in flight is now just for looking, too fragile to even touch.
This is a book of poems for the bodies that are still hurting, for the suffering that takes up so much space in the bodies of so many, for the agony of endured silence, not only once, but every time you must swallow down the past in order to be present.
This book made me want to say: I am not tired of holding your suffering, dear writer, dear reader, dear fellow forgetter of meals and rememberers of the body. Every rape poem is one that deserves to be heard. Every voice is a nuance, a fragmented whole, that binds us together and makes sacred what was once stolen.
I would pair this book with glitter (mica-based if possible) and a glass of whatever red wine you can afford as long as the label is something you love. I would eat whatever you are able while consuming the words. Like cats eating grass to cleanse their bellies, you too are composting, making way for new skin.
After reading it, I would bathe and remember the subtleties of your story, how they are different or similar to what you have read. These differences are vital, but they are yours to keep and hold. They are your story, one you may wish to tell.
Sara is a healing artist who believes in the impact that art has on our body, mind, heart, and spirit. To learn more about the work she does with clients and in the non-written-world, visit her website at www.dreambeyondshame.com.
Im.Press.Ions is a publication where people are encouraged to submit the impact of something they consumed that they felt was art. It is the galactic response to the rationing of numbered stars.