Ritual for self-possession

I unfold the beauty from my limbs,
fold it, careful, in thirds,
place it on the foot of my narrow bed before
the evening—wraps—its arms around me

I unbind the vitality, lightness,
of my Body, hang it up,                        careful,
            this youth I am envied
in a corner of shadows

I unhook the smile, warm and lovely
from my mouth, let it            fall
back into its physicality,
—its wetness and weight—
            the languid stillness of the tongue

I wrap off this skin,
slip out of all the touches—
            stroking, poking, grabbing,
abuse            I didn’t ask for,
let them puddle on a dusty patch
of the floor with yesterday’s
jeans, and some underwear I thought was clean

            as I melt into bed I am nothing but flesh,
and the smell of sweetened milk,
            —I’ve been told—      although I wish I could
strip                  myself of it as well,
            both the smell and the knowledge of it,
slip them into a washbowl on the nightstand
let them swirl and tease and turn on

and I be truly,            solely,            a carnal entity
rotting,            every night in linen sheets,
under the hum of the ceiling fan,
petrifying a little dream by dream,
dawn by dawn,

just a decaying heap of flesh
without life,
            or beauty,
                        or warmth,
            or any adjective that might make you
want it,            and claim it
            as yours

Celma Lougredo is a Franco-Swedish poet and student. Her work has appeared in New Reader Magazine, The Writer’s Block and Page & Spine.

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1 Response to Ritual for self-possession

  1. I like the “foldedness” of this poem, where the spaces and line wraps echo the content.

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