Body of water, body of work,
body clock and body blow,
body language, body art,
body in motion, body and soul;
body of evidence, outline in white,
body count and body guard,
any and every, some and no,
the bodies seven, heavenly, hard.
Will we look as we do now,
only shadowy or transparent,
the soul an outline of the former self?
Will we be the age we were
when we died, and in other ways
the soul forever linked to who we were,
and will we remember who we were,
all our memories somehow saved,
though the brain is lost forever?
Will the animals be there, every
midge and bat from all time,
or only those some person loved?
How can we be happy there,
if they are not also souls and therefore die
and disappear and leave no trace?
How could we be happy anywhere
but on the Earth, amid this life,
We do not think of the body
as it is, mass of bone and nerve,
tissue, tendon, blood, bound
together continuously and complete,
the body's plenitude, its closeness,
but the skin like an overnight bag,
from which one can take what one needs,
this heart, this hand, this memory,
and leave the rest untouched.
In truth, the vessels ramify,
the nerves are like the roots of a tree,
and there are no empty spaces;
all is folded in and under, secreted
and obscured, tangled, sewn together.
And even more: Inside each cell,
a vine of life, its tendrils holding
to what we are or can become.
Jones, BA '68 in English, is a writer living in Austin, Texas.