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.