Fathom Mag

Body Parts

A poem

Published on:
May 20, 2019
Read time:
1 min.
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the project assigned to me is
to pixelize
the placenta
the fetal earth
delivered post-birth
viscous thick
and the decisive confusion of whoever figured
how to dispose of it properly

then I’m going to work
on digitizing
the grease
under Grandpa’s chewed fingernails
the shortness of breath
the boy’s blood-drain fear of climbing
the makeshift stairs of the garage
off the gravel alley
to the second floor
(where the vermin fled and bred)
to adjust three thick suspended chains
for lifting the old motor
from the rusty blue car
all the dust-caked tubes
and disconnected wires
the spit of cursing
how we learned to laugh
in the smell of the warming wood stove
warmer than the womb
as warm as the workshop inside
outside, the bone-bracing chaos of winter

the confusion of the boy
the confidence of the elder
and how it was decided—
more by body than brain—
to replace one broken hand-built engine
with another unbroken,
sturdy as Grandpa’s hands,
heart sturdier than these ciphers,
the deformed fruit of a sterile silicon board
under an endless series of vicious viral threats

Troy B. Cady
Troy Cadyis the founder of PlayFull, a ministry whose mission is to help people and organizations “play from the inside out.” You can read more of his poetry at http://troymarbles.blogspot.com where he also writes reflections and essays on faith-related themes. He makes his home in Chicago with his wife and two children. He admires the poetry of E.E. Cummings, Maya Angelou, Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver, and T.S. Eliot. Lately, he has enjoyed reading Adrienne Rich and Kay Ryan.

Cover photo by Sabine van Straaten.

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