Day 727, June 29, 2022
I carry memory in the joints of my appendages,
in the knuckles of my fingers,
in the crook of my toes.
I remember pressing my shoulder against foam and steel,
I remember the smell and feel of a sweaty floor mat,
the breath of another boy as we strained,
the willpower to not flinch,
to treat one’s body as if it were a disposable thing,
a thing made to be used up until there was nothing left.
Everything is a little more gentle now.
I stretch as I walk,
turn my head,
windmill my arms.
I look like a wind-up toy let loose on the kitchen table.
I am so tired I push the cat aside and lie down under the covers
and almost let myself be taken by sleep.
The chickens are counting clouds and eating dirt.
Sometimes I let my arm hang limp like a broken wing
because it is easier that way.
I do not wonder if I will grimace.
I walk like I am pretending to lure a predator away.
I walk like a man who was once shaped by his body.