THE BODY ELECTRIC

for Amy Turn Sharp

 

the impulse to fire

regardless of aim

is what kept me warring

through the tumble-some days

and breaking, chest out

into the stacked night

a guarantee of sun

the warbler's winning singing

the Missouri-Pacific

beside me up the highway

the warm dusk up to my ears

the impulse to movement

the impulse to exalt

and blow out the exacting time

deepen:  the finite,

these lines from laughing

or squinting with bright pain

the impulse to wake

not to worry or contemplate

but jump up and rattle

shake loose the death head

tell the enemy my joy

tell my love my legs

are stanchions

this agreement with no one

to make my limits ladders

to be pulled along

by the heart

plunging into the roar
the impulse to fire

make this one life apotheosis

these breaths a cherished rage.