2 June 2004 | Vol. 4, No. 2

Historiography for the Body

What I keep of you I keep in my stomach

where it is easiest to feel empty,

easiest to feel full.

After everything, don't we get

to assign our organs these metaphors?

Because something inside the body gathers

each loss, contains it.

Call it the heart's debris, all that we

let go of that lodges elsewhere:

Between lungs, in duodenum,

sleeping dormant in clavicle spoon.

I wouldn't be surprised if part of me is in your spleen.

History doesn't go anywhere,

just instills patterns into what must be

the musculature of memory—

hippocampus, thalamus, stomach, ribs.

Our bodies are crowded

with the pieces of other people

we carry with us from room to room.

Behind our knees they knot and cinch

ligaments to our previous lives,

mapping each way home.

About the author:

Allison Titus's work has previously appeared in Indiana Review and Brooklyn Review.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Allison Titus at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 4, No. 2, where "Historiography for the Body" ran on June 2, 2004. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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