It is difficult to say yes. It is difficult to say yes & have others hear it as more than the sound of the word yes. It is difficult to allow one’s body its porousness, its need to yes. I don’t much understand the body, but my body is not me & is me: I get it & I can’t get it. It is like a mirror or a piece of paper or a dead insect in the corner of my apartment. It frames the world & then another day someone talks about a calendar.

 

The body can only say yes. Yes to pain, yes-electric, yes rut & yes rout, yes to the symmetry of cement. The body is rhythm & disruption: the line against the syntax. And some poems merely say what they say. I mean, some poems convey struggle & some poems struggle. Sometimes there are words to describe what the body yeses. The body makes words. Then each word finds a mirror or a paper or a desiccated insect husk & briefly fills that thing with body. The body is brief but it is to be understood slowly, through diligent & freakish repetition & twitch, like in Sarah Boyer’s “Medical Semiotics Index.”

 

Marguerite Duras said this “I won’t push the point; I’m leaving. But I’m only saying what everybody feels, even if they don’t know how to live it.” One species of insect feeds exclusively on how humans say the word no. It is small & termitish: white & still & sweet as skin. There is no way to distinguish between an infested body & one that is clean. 

 

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Mathias Svalina is the author of four books, most recently Wastoid from Big Lucks Books, & is an editor for Octopus Books.