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Geology of the Body

John Barton

Relentless how the planet renews itself-
    landforms shift, plate frictioning

against plate, restless
    mountains reared up under pressure along fault

lines while oceans rise, storm-boiled
    glacial bodies you navigate, mapping the rivers

siphoned into them, sweat pooling in the hollows
    along your collarbone while you work

things out, the exhilarations
    of discovery counterbalanced by the weight

you lift above your head, shoulders, thighs
    and back hardened with time into fundament

apparently immutable, your chest the breastplate
    of a continent behind which your heart is

free to swim in its landlocked sea of opiates
    the planet rescued from the inattentions

of a brain too mindful of the soft
    rich clay housing it, of all that is ground

down and mixed into a grey amalgam
    and spread, muddy blood-warm shallows

across which our ancestors stray, recently
    erect and marking you with indifferent footprints


John Barton's works copyright © to the author.


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