By Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg           I Love This Body That’s Not the Way I Thought      

like I love lightning, and especially its aftermath:
a horizon balancing blue sky, dying thunderheads,
faint stars, open space—the whole world stretching
its arms two directions at once, just as I do, shaking
myself steady, remembering how this body loves
miles of sidewalk diminishing into a faint path
made by deer with genius for merging the visible.
I love the walk out of what I thought even if
my feet hurt, I’m scared by the blank stare of the sun,
or I’ve surrendered to how the subway sways its chant
along my spine as it cups this body in its seat.
I love the flash of yearning that turns this body
toward the dark or bright branches of sex or dreams,
all this weather informs these limbs and muscles
in the seasons that come and go, or that came and went:
the mechanisms of cell-building, the three children
from that flint-on-flint spark, the years before
walking sunsets out of housing developments,
and earlier, the fast slim legs that galloped me
down long apartment hallways as the girl
who knew how to tell herself to stay curious,
just as the woman who woke from the old pain,
and put on her walking shoes to head out into billions
of atoms shifting into fire or flower at every turn.


Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of 23 books, including Miriam’s Well, a novel; Everyday Magic: A Field Guide to the Mundane and Miraculous, and Following the Curve, poetry. Her previous work includes The Divorce Girl, a novel; Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust; The Sky Begins At Your Feet, a bioregional memoir on cancer and community; and six poetry collections, including the award-winning Chasing Weather with photographer Stephen Locke. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely.


Guest Editor Julie Ramon is an English instructor at NEO A&M in Miami, Oklahoma.  She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Among writing, her interests include baking, sewing, traveling, and garage sales. She is also a co-organizer of a Joplin, Missouri poetry series, Downtown Poetry. She lives in Joplin with her husband, sons, and daughter.

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