The Body by Melita White


The body wants to move
wants to reinhabit itself
it wants to play
To bend arc writhe and double with grace and ease
The body lets go
It also gets tired
and stiff and it aches
The body takes up more space than the other bodies do
It is majestic and has presence
Full of symbolism and reference
it represents fundamental truths
cruel ironies and distortions
The body is encumbered
Yet extends beyond boundaries
The body is boundless

The body is hungry
it needs more fuel
Feels prickly and moist and yearns for another
The body is rounded and wide in parts
pointy in others
hard and soft together
swollen and folding and rolling
The body has itches and tears and lumps
is smooth and rough
and things protrude from it
From its skin and its holes
things come out
there is little control
Things go in and get devoured
give comfort and energy and sometimes pain

The body is waking
from stern stuck slumber
from atrophied death of the self
Not the sort of death that liberates
Not la petite mort
And certainly not the sort of death that takes you
at the end of life
Vacuums your soul swiftly away and leaves the body
hollow yet painless
Not that kind
The body is defrosting from cryogenic petrification
Is warming from pain
Finds comfort in cracking
From creaking
From stretching
From eating
From making
From laughing
From singing
From fucking
For all these things tell me
I am alive
And what a wonder that is
For I’ve slept for so long

My body is
And will continue to be
My body awakens and won’t sleep again

3 thoughts on “The Body by Melita White

  1. This poem resonated strongly with me, as I’m also looking at ‘bodyful’ or somatic ways of healing (inherited) trauma and helping me deal with my chronic illness. Thanks for sharing 🙂


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