the mystery of the world is the world / by Laura Kochman

After a discussion about totemic writing words, I realized that I have a little bit of shame about writing so often about bodies. Bodies are totally on-trend in poetry, and it makes me feel like a follower. But I don't want to deny what I find so interesting about bodies—not necessarily their possibilities for the grotesque, but their existence in time and space. How permanent and how never-there. How personality and thought and memory can be temporally and spatially located. There's a lot of "three years ago today" going around on my social media today, because it is once again the anniversary of the tornado. Three years ago today I knew the space around me and felt it when it wasn't there and then no longer, replaced by a new one. Though I can still feel what isn't there. Three years ago today I learned that if everybody else could hold a chainsaw, if they could be the hale bodies of the town, I could be the voice on the phone and in the spreadsheets. Around that time I began to need daily allergy medication, because the body is surprisingly porous. The wind went in and the wind went out.