Words from a Pound of Flesh
The scale expects me. But whether to accumulate
in its loose and cold embrace in scraps and ounces,
or to pulse as a single heaving mass, awaiting word
as to the appropriateness of my size, I do not know.
I would prefer some other task: directing the flow
of blood like scarlet rivers through this body. Or conducting
the digestive functions by which it purges and renews itself:
like the burning of old wood and fertilization of seeds in some great forest.
But I was never named, neither heart nor kidney nor lung
nor stomach, nor any other part belonging to a man.
I might like to know my place. A brain serves a different function
than a liver, which is categorized separately from a clavicle.
But however sorted: whether lymphatic, or skeletal, or muscular —
are we not yet one body?
Michalle Gould’s Resurrection Party was published by Silver Birch Press in August 2014 and was a finalist for the best Poetry Book Award for that year of the Writers’ League of Texas. Poems from the book appeared in Poetry, Slate, New England Review, and other journals, while more recent writing has been published by the Toast, the Awl, the Nervous Breakdown, the Getty Museum’s website, and is forthcoming in Open Letters Monthly. Gould’s work has also been adapted into a short film and set to music by the founder of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival.