Photo by Tim Graves. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0
Photo by Tim Graves. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

Stripping off the heat of the day,
I lower my body to the mat upon the floor.
Cooling night breeze brushes against skin,
body hair tingles with each gust of dark air.

But the jaw refuses,
holding tight to the day’s tension.

Not yet cool but no longer hot,
I partially drape my body with the sheet,
and banish canine to the foot.

But the jaw denies release,
holding word and worry tight.

Systematically moving from toes and heel to ankle and calf,
my mind pauses in awareness of each muscle.
Deep within, my ever-present right hip threatens,
to push ahead in line as each part of my physicality,
has its turn at notice by my meditative mind.

Reaching my belly, my mind circles in compassion around,
tingling epidermis and twinges of nerves beneath,
that remember the knife that opened my belly not so long ago.
My body remembers even when my mind represses.

Jaw, belly, and hip conspire,
to deny the cooling breeze its healing powers.


Until my lungs let out their quivering sigh and my mind lets go of body, consciousness, and finally the day.

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