Poem in Which Our Bodies Are Not Temples

Christa and I play body
bingo it’s a game not a fun

one we trace our outlines
our bodies like crime scenes

and shade in everywhere we’re
broken we’re broken everywhere

she colors lungs kidneys feet
she’s just beginning I color

spine stomach brain our drawings
get darker they don’t look holy

they look mangled five broken
parts and bingo we’re both

winning we’re both lost no
temples but landfills circuses

with horrible acts circuses
that should be illegal we shut

our eyes erase our drawings
we don’t need them to know

where we feel we write
a medical dictionary the only

way to remember everything
Christa helps me pronounce

the tricky words there are a lot
of tricky words we don’t have

time to define them all but next
to each we write you’re so

strong we look at our bodies
we hold each other we hold

ourselves what is a body
a field for exploring pain

Katie McMorris is a writer and dancer from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her MFA from Purdue University, where she won an Academy of American Poets Prize, and is currently a PhD student at Oklahoma State University. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Rupture, Booth, and Passages North, among others.

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