You Wanted New Animal Facts
Last night, I apologized to the man in my bed for the animal facts of my body.
The salt. The iron. I told him I was sorry for every body
part that leaked. Even as I knew, somewhere in Ohio, your animal facts
have been reduced to decay. How could I resent the oozing—my body
that still makes signs of life? This morning
I am thinking of you as I go to the woods to forget my body.
I am wondering what your parents chose:
Are you ash? Did they bury your body?
It is June. The woods are full of green. Everywhere
water to drink. The animals are content in their bodies.
They run from my blistered footsteps. Foolish to think
I could forget this vessel. Blood seeps from the body--
but you have been sucked dry. Oven or embalmment.
You didn’t know how to live in your body.
Was there anything we could have done? You wanted
testosterone pills: new animal facts. Everybody
watched the stubble darken your jawline. Your voice lowered.
But when I remember you singing, I confess, it’s your old body
I hear: the soprano. There’s a guilt to the memory I didn’t know
to expect. I hope it was painless—when your voice left your body
for good. Let’s sing a duet, you were always saying to somebody.
To begin, you strummed a chord and closed your eyes—felt the music in your body.
About the Author: Mary Ardery is from Bloomington, IN. Her work has been published in Sweet Tree Review, Parks & Points, Hobart, and other journals. She is currently pursuing an MFA at Southern Illinois University. Visit her at here.