How to Tell If Your Body is Real

A Poem

“grayscale of cabinet” by Bui Bao on Unsplash
After Amy Sarig King, 2015

I can feel my bones. I have bones, I think;
it seems my skin is slipping, slack and pooling.

And what are muscles? Atrophy sets in;
I diminish, dust and empty clothes
carried on electric cool currents,
strewn across this living room.

Living? Yes. Dammit, I’m alive.
A dustpan, please. If I can’t be whole,
then give me the dignity of being in one place;
self contained, sweep me into grandmother’s urn.

She’s not here, but I am, I am.
I need the help. I’m still here —

if only by a flutter. Yes,
that’s the heart flying, myocardium intact
when everything else is gone.

Sweep me together and, heart beating,
I will rise from dust.