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A Nomad’s Ode to Crying

Distress and the soul in action.

This is, in fact, the only time

the soul can make a sound

real for the hearing. It first

calls upon the body

for lubrication and platform. The body

joins in the cause

although it is powerless

to resist. Besides, can watery bodies

great or small unhook themselves

from the pulling moon? They would not

do so. Wreaking havoc

would risk perfection.

Tides are without thoughts.

They are safe and fine with harmony

and the larger cosmic plan.

Not like us

devastated over and over

in the kindergarten

when our square cinder blocks

of thoughts

don’t roll. Don’t follow

the slope of the curve, don’t

lick the heels of inertia

with an effortless verve.

The soul’s whimper

lassoes the upper body’s muscles

and takes prisoner

the throat’s arching, hollow passageways,

turns the facial mask’s

blood into a cold rolling boil

and practices an alchemy

of diaphragm heaves

mixed with airy gases

so desperate to leave

the body that liquid

brims over in a force

of new tributaries, an aria of humours

aqueous and vitreous

around the sockets of the eyes

that refuses to pool – without edge or angle

but still able to catch the light

as only the soul can naturally do.

Then it swells the body

up in mistral storm systems

and calls upon the hippocampus

for brooding thoughts

that resist the amnesic spell –

At this point it rallies all

into the plan.

Then the swelling sound

of equal parts labour, or loss

or associating pain

when finally the soul gives up

the body for a while

and has its own curdling echo,

and the throat pushed to its limit

and the soul heavy

on the ambient air

and the absolute surrender

of all local ears that hear.



|  Juan-Paolo Perre