The Body is Not an Apology | a poem by Sonya Renee

The Body is Not an Apology

by Sonya Renee

The body is not an apology.

Let it not be forget-me-not fixed to mattress when night threatens to leave the room empty as the belly of a crow.

The body is not an apology.

Do not present it as a disassembled rifle when he has yet to prove himself more than common intruder.

The body is not an apology.

Let it not be common as oil, ash or toilet.

Let it not be small as gravel, stain or teeth.

Let it not be mountain when it is sand. Let it not be ocean when it is grass.

Let it not be shaken, flattened or razed in contrition. The body is not an apology.

Do not give the body as communion, confession, do not ask for it to be pardoned as criminal.

The body is not a crime, is not a gun, the body is not a lost set of keys or wrong number dialled.

It is not the orange burst of blood to shame white dresses.

The body is not an apology.

It is not the unintended granule of bone beneath will.

The body is not kill, it is not unkempt car.

It is not a forgotten appointment.

Do not speak it vulgar.

The body is not soiled, it is not filth to be forgiven.

The body is not an apology.

It is not a father’s backhand, is not mother’s dinner late again, wrecked jaw, howl.

It is not the drunken sorcery of contorting steel round tree.  

The body is not calamity.

The body is not a math test.  

The body is not a wrong answer.

The body is not a failed class.

You are not failing.

The body is not an apology.

The body is not a crime, is not a gun.

The body is not crime, is not sentence to be served.

It is not prison, is not pavement, is not prayer.

The body is not an apology.

Do not offer the body as gift.

Only receive it as such.

The body is not to be prayed for, is to be prayed to.

So, for the ever-more turtle tenth grade nose, hallelujah.

For the shower song throat that crackles like a grandfather’s vitrola, hallelujah.

For the spine that never healed.

For the lambent heart that didn’t either.

Hallelujah for the slowly pulp of back, hip, belly.

Hosanna for the errant hairs that road the base like a pack of wolves.

Hosanna for the parts that we have endeavoured to excise.

Blessed be the cancer, the palsy, the womb that opens like a trap door.

Praise the body in its black jack magic even in this.

For the razor wire mouth.

For the sweet God ribbon with it.

Praise for the mistake that never was.

Praise for the bend to fall and rise again, fall and rise again.

For the raising like an obstinate Christ.

Praise the body that bends like a baptismal bowl for those that will worship at the lip of this sanctuary.

Praise the body for the body is not an apology.

The body is deity, the body is god, the body is god.

The only righteous love that will never need repent.

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