Ode to My Muscles

Originally shared on personal blog, June 2018. Published in Kaleidoscope Magazine, Issue 81: A Season of Hope, September 2020.

The words for you were hidden in your fibers,
buried in your tissue, emblazoned instructions
on every cell membrane to jerk, shake, whirl, and beat
to a rhythm of your own making,
as if I were meant to dance while still.
You who are taut when the brain says to bend,
you live in a world of infinite impulse;
you weaken my grip and pull me back into the body
I yearn to escape from each sleepless night.
I do not blame you, my incessant muscles,
though I ache to unstring you like bows
and lay you to rest by the riverside.
For I have wept at the thought that you were never there,
And as I walk through this chasm between cerebrum and palsy,
I find that I have fallen a little too much in love
to call you, the indomitable, my enemy.

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