Previous: Omar Holmon reads "Way too long since I sat by myself" by Christabel Cruz
Next: Tim Seibles reads "Poem at 64"



View count:2,085
Last sync:2023-03-16 18:00
Rachel Eliza Griffiths (she/her/hers) reads her poem, "Seeing the Body."

Rachel Eliza Griffiths:

Brought to you by Complexly, The Poetry Foundation, and curators Charlotte Abotsi and Sarah Kay. Learn more:

11 issues of Poetry, subscribe today for $20:

Follow us elsewhere for the full Ours Poetica experience:

#poetry #ourspoetica #RachelElizaGriffiths
Hi. I'm Rachel Eliza Griffiths, and I'd like to share a poem with you.  This poem is called, "Seeing the Body."

She died & I—

In the spring of her blood, I remember

my mother's first injury. Surprise of unborn

petals curling red, then dark around her wrist.

Some fruit she cut, some onion, some

Body with skin & sharp seeds. She fed me.

She lived Us & I—

She held We & I—

She kept speaking with those flowers

falling from her blood, taking her

across the sky to death. I remember

her voice like a horn. I never want

to pull out of my heart. In the next life,

which is here & here, I gather every mouth

that ever sang my mother's blues.

She burned & I—

She talked back hard at god.

O, my mother, she danced unbroken too.

Bale of grief on my back, opening

into something black I wear. A life a flesh

like a petal or fruit or burning.

I've carried everything & I'm tired.

My mother survived & I—

(But she did not live).

She told me Nothing & I—

She was waiting the entire time.

How does the elegy believe me?

Together, we crossed the sky.

There was a gate & we walked through

the world like that.

She wrote We & I—

She was last or never seen, & I—

Brown eyes, without life, opened her

eternity. When the air in her stopped

& I—

She was last seen dying. She was too silent

for the first time in her life. The spring of

my mother's blood hot & god the dark,

dark beyond the closed door

that won't move again.