Da Vinci Illustration Body Language

Body Language

Arms implying one another,
legs in alternation going south,
this swaying scaffold of bones
bears through fields
the head without a thought.

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Blood floods the passageways,
the stomach grips its food,
the heart advances in darkness…

all while I walk,
shake hands, work the wash of events.

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In seven years, they say, it is renewed:
each hair in its follicle,
each pore in its microbe dell.
Atom for atom, the valleys of my brain,
the long journey in my legs
suffer replacement.
A good occasion for improvement
you would think:
but no,
the same old scars,
all my mistakes preserved.

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Once in his life
a man should know his body in its prime.

Dark drifts of hair,
the narrows of the waist,
the great junction of the thighs,
the torso lagged with muscle bronze.

The body's peak
on the long parabola from helplessness to helplessness.

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At death
the soul flies out of the mouth,
all eyes on it, it
continues out of the room.
Then the body is declared
larval to the man.

Yet I live in a settlement of two hundred bones.
Of its own accord my body beats.
the great whorls of my fingerprints
approach like storms.

John Barr/from The Hundred Fathom Curve: New and Collected Poems

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