My body never lets
me forget that I am a body:
moving like the sheep that herd,
eating like the cattle that chew
still in the fields.
And yet I think of myself
as more than a body subject
to the world’s travail and the
cycles the bring us all down
in the end.
I consider myself above nature
and able to defy the laws that
in the scheme of the universe
have no treasured children
but see all things as the same stuff
of formation and dissolution.
How curious it is that I am body,
often filled with sickness and misery,
an animal among animals,
mortal and dependent,
but wanting to live among the
stars with the gods and striving
to understand the very mortality
that must inevitably take it all away.
Yes, my body does not let me forget,
for the hunger and the thirst
and the pain and the uncertain,
the desire and the need,
live close to me as my companions
of humanness and companions of truth,
that stay the distance
till no more is said.