Sonnet

the naked body my naked body
rheumatoid arthritis and Tylenol
3 my heart beats unseen waves of sunlight
passing through the window next to me I think
through a migraine as stained glass suffering
is a kind of worship at least that’s why
I like birds so much so small that you
carried one home in your mitten from the
train it looked so sickly and so lost when
we let it go and promised to make a
bird feeder which I suppose will never
happen now I just can’t stop thinking about
that Berrigan sonnet that ends with “sadness
I launched a boat frail as a butterfly”

Sonnet

one hair’s width is what separates Sanskrit
in my mind from winter the daily grind
the orange rind like a torn-up atmosphere
limp on my desk as I write this empty
of everything yet containing all things
the phone rings but I do not answer it
the air throws a fit against the windows
I grab a charcoal pencil with my fingers
as a tortuous-shell hair-clip grabs hair
CLEAR the medical team screams at my side
as the kite of myself is pulled back down
beyond what I had when I left Eden
(a pair of toenail clippers some mint soap
a pair of old jeans a ghost I named god)


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Anthony Opal lives near Chicago and edits The Economy.  His poems have appeared in Poetry, Boston Review, Sixth Finch, and elsewhere. To read more, visit www.anthonyopal.com.