J. B. Hill

The Song of My Body

The song of my body
has been gloomy with
heartbreaking cries, wicked talk,
frightened gasps sifting through cracks
in the walls and underneath doors—
a simple sad waltz,
like a memory cast forward as
truth and backward as a fright—
a pendulum kiss on the forehead.

This is how women hate their bodies—
consumed by the strictest form of battle
like a revolutionary war,
tiny soldiers in the distance.
Officers and kings watch
stoic and tight-jawed at the careful
formations as men
destroy flowers in the meadow,
killing horses and slicing throats.

But I am not at war with my body anymore.
My honey, fruit, incense-scented skin,
hair pooling at my waist,
lips soft and pink—
the rolls on my body are fragrant hills
full of sighs—like nighttime
winds blowing through trees.

My body glides through water,
slipping through steamy cyclones
in winter, under a star-crusted sky.

My body holds crying children,
comforts dying animals,
pushes through the day
in slow and steady steps.

My body is an alarm system
urging me to rest or scream
or move against a current.
It aches. It burns. It sleeps.
It is rising and falling quietly— breathing,
the wholeness of it,
one giant lung capturing the universe.

My body needs a deep touch
from a brave soul
unafraid of getting swallowed
by the magic of me.

J.B. Hill earned a BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. Her recent poetry and short stories have been published in the San Antonio Review, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, The Dillydoun Review, Coastal Shelf Literary Journal, Funicular Magazine, Bridge Eight Literary Magazine, Cathexis Northwest Press, Black Fox Literary Magazine, and Wild Roof Journal. Hill has been a featured storyteller/poet for organizations like Hearsay Poetry, Testify, The Living Room, and The Story Department. She has worked as a reporter, a screenplay analyst, and a writer and editor. Find her at http://www.ideamakerupper.com, Instagram (@ideamakerupper), and Facebook ( @jbhillwriter).