Letter to Amanda on the Practice of Yoga. A Poem by Carly Sachs

Last night I watched Brian walk across the room naked,
his penis so sad looking just hanging there the way worms
lay on the ground after rain.

At night we sleep like folding chairs.  I can feel his hard on
in the morning pressed into my back, the way you’d push
your thumb against a mango to see if its ripe.

I slink away into the corners of dawn, make my way
to the shower, the desk.  I practice avoidance
like a reverent yogi.

Breathing in, I acknowledge my fear.
Exhaling, I move away from it.

I physically take my body to that safe place.
I’ve unpacked my things and have set up house there.
I know you know the postures like old furniture.

For three years we’ve talked around this, spun metaphor
kaleidoscope-like, the ways the trees must have looked
turning up around and sideways trying to call you home.

Was it the bells or the chanting that finally brought your body
back to itself. How long did your arms and legs shirk you away,
call you stranger.

I imagine you’ve found them by now, your knees and elbows,
arms and hips.  Did they feel like barbells that you had to pick up,
heavy and smelling used. Or did the come back to you like shells,
washed up and empty, delicate as thread.


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