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OMEGA | Ashley Opheim
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Ashley Opheim

09 May Ashley Opheim

I BELONG IN MY BODY

 

to attempt the orchestration of
a feeling of place via the accumulation
of personal artifices : a branch, a balding

a question of what is love
if you keep on having to ask your self
if it is present or not

& how the rent & how this body I must feed & how many dollar signs are ringing like bells
in this neighborhood, too, distress shows its effects in dark circles around our eyes
is it comfort I want?

I want belonging, not belongings
a desperation to make pleasure of melancholy
six years have passed, too much time makes me want to sit high on my spine

and set my clock back to 0, I want pinker lungs
there is a confession in me, impenetrable I open my mouth & rain falls out
it is spring for a day

and then it is winter again
for a snack I pop corn seeds in a pot with canola oil and
white sugar on the stove

I try to quiet my thoughts
I wake up in my room surrounded by everything I’ve kept
heirloom jars filled with nothing

I have refused to hang curtains, my eyelid shuts then lifts again, again I can see the curved
dome of the nearby
church facing the morning sun, in certainty

I long for someone to take an interest in my existence, just eye contact on St. Viateur
or something said, off script
a secret path with nowhere to go, the appeal of stasis

takes pride in the length of its hair, in honesty
the religious women outside turn their eyes away from me, we see so few of the people
we encounter in busy cities

we have routine ways of getting to the same place
the night is an edge, is a windowsill, love is not a curtain
I am weeping because I have an imagination that is hungry

I weep because I am bored of eating rice
I weep because I have found a new way of being in love
with and in a place I was meaning to leave

the beauty of decay
the failed orchestrations of commerce my body recites
an orchestra in the night with the lamp on until 5 am

the best in me
surrounds the one I love
who forgets to give me the key

who, then, has his plants die on him, who has a door inside of him
that doesn’t want to be closed
all our roots are brought to this place of love which is not here in this room

not here in this rotten city
wherever I carry and whatever I carry with me has the essence of delivery
the whole world is my home

in which I long to permeate
how I long for currency to penetrate me
I am being drawn into accountability

I receive important documents in the mail with my name on them I am recognizable
perched in third-floor apartment watching the birds
power & light & heat & radiance perched in down of feather, screen shot

working on building a breath long enough to move through
down there a truck is making so much noise that it’s impossible to hear anything
all love of glorious architecture

there is always a choice to stay within me
he is building a castle of love, he puts the outside
inside of me cloud & mountain

there is a highway in my soul that stirs beside me
there is always someone weeping nearby
these words shall have the spirit of my belonging there is always someone nearby,
behind a door

I was born with eyes that will never close
I am not afraid of hunger I am not afraid to belong
& how to disown a feeling of place

& what to keep and why
I want sympathy in this symphony of leaving
take it, I forgot that I belong in my body

 

 


This poem is from Ashley Opheim’s first collection of poems, I Am Here, published by Metatron.

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