The Body Eclectic

The Body Eclectic first appeared in the That Not Forgotten anthology published by Hidden Brook Press August 2012.



Though we cease as we now are, what we are never ceases.

–        Paragraph 22, Chapter 1, Book 14, The Good Book

I am an acme of things accomplished, and I am an encloser of things to be.

–        Song of Myself, #44, Walt Whitman



This molten coil, a spark from vulcan forge;

today it glints from iris flecks.


An ancient droplet, thawed from comet frost,

perspires, now briny, from this pore.


An atom and even two from first fruit

remain sown deep within my loins.


The iridescent traces of proto-wings

are trapped in these amberous strands.


The fin that ruddered a leviathan

is stretched, to scale, between my toes.


Original cooking fire residues

endure in smudgy fingerprints.


Antique papyrus scratched with soot is now

this article of carbon here.


The whetted iron cusp that sliced at hot gates

abides and stains my marrow red.


Genetic matter thumbing down silk roads

infects and galls my bladder black.


The sodden keels of oak-ribbed caravels

reduced to flotsam in this knee.


The sulphur belched from crude musket mouths

ignites the strife inside my gut.


Electrons that once crackled Franklin’s kite

are thrumming up my spinal cord.


Memento mori, ions in my teeth

decay much slower than I do.


These particles are borrowed, every one of them,

and they must be returned.


This speck from my appendix flap

will decorate the final brittle bloom.


This bit of gristle near my hip

will help propel the inter-stellar craft.


This synapse, remade into wire,

will broadcast the truth, twenty decades late.


A clutch of my component parts

will stay behind, mute observers of the last


dramatic sunset, reconciled

to unlit vigils held on cooling shores.


Yet others, in this freckle swirl,

will ride forever, hitched to cosmic dust.


I coalesce, I last a while, and then…

I’m immortal.