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Monologue of the Body1

Samuel Hazo


When I rub suede, my hands

speak suede.

Without my shoes

I understand the languages of sand

and stones and grass.


I return to what I was

when I began, drifting in tides

more ancient than the stars.


my skin I summer always

in the stopped and tropic Fahrenheit

of Borneo.

Ice burns like fever

in the furnace of my mouth.

My eyes

drink everything I see.

My ears

consume entire symphonies.

In a blood-rage I rave the way

a woman once aroused

tramples the fences of restraint.

Of all my promised days

I dedicate one-third to sleep,

one third to obligation, and the rest

to what I know because

I feel.

I live with wounds

by day.

By night I heal.

© Samuel Hazo
from Just Once: New and Previous Poems
Autumn House Press, 2002

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