A Litany of Bodies
My body is alone in the co-working space,
chill in here and sunny outside, and
My body takes a break to study a photo
of an injured child in Syria,
Body’s head falls into body’s hands.
The body of the child is being attended to,
but it isn’t clear how his
Body is being supported. One medical worker
seems to guide the child’s head to look
At the body of an older sibling. They look into each other’s eyes,
the injured child’s eyes huge.
A second medical worker prepares to suture.
Adult bodies look on. “Civilians.” Human beings,
Their bodies leaning in to support the child with their presence.
The body of a girl child is in the foreground,
also looking on, an adult’s hand
On her head. That’s what made me cry, all the looking.
These children have seen something together
that will separate them
From the bodies of those of us who haven’t
seen it, haven’t been there
With our actual bodies. In Michelangelo’s Pietà,
The adult body of Jesus is cradled in his mother’s lap,
And this is what’s so terrible and beautiful
about being a mother. To hold
The body, to cradle it, to send it out into the world,
the brutality of the world
Upon the body, which if we are to believe
the religious among us, houses
Also a soul. Tell me. Are we, then,
to believe it?