EVERY TWO WEEKS
   Please leave this field empty
Institute for Policy Studies
RSS Feeds
IPS Blog » Post

Split This Rock Poem of the Week: Philip Metres

June 3, 2010 ·

A moment of verse, brought to you by the folks from Split This Rock Poetry Festival.

Philip MetresA weekly featured poem of provocation and witness. You can find more poetry and arts news from Blog This Rock.

For the Fifty (Who Formed PEACE With Their Bodies)

In the green beginning,
          in the morning mist,
                    they emerge from their chrysalis

of clothes: peel off purses & cells,
          slacks & Gap sweats, turtle-
                    necks & tanks, Tommy’s & Salvation

Army, platforms & clogs,
          abandoning bras and lingerie, labels
                    & names, courtesies & shames,

the emperor’s rhetoric of defense,
          laying it down, their child-
                    stretched or still-taut flesh

giddy in sudden proximity,
          onto the cold earth: bodies fetal or supine,
                    as if come-hithering

or dead, wriggle on the grass to form
          the shape of a word yet to come, almost
                    embarrassing to name: a word

thicker, heavier than the rolled rags
          of their bodies seen from a cockpit:
                        they touch to make

the word they want to become:
          it’s difficult to get the news
                    from our bodies, yet people die each day

for lack of what is found there:
          here: the fifty hold, & still
                    to become a testament, a will,

embody something outside
          themselves & themselves: the body,
                    the dreaming disarmed body.

 

-Philip Metres

Used by permission.