Lying on the massage table at the mudbaths

after twelve minutes immersed in a tub of hot volcanic mud and twelve minutes in a bath of hot mineral water my heart thumps against the padded surface and I remember that I exist thanks to this mostly unremarked heart a thermodynamic system that chugs along blood in blood out every artery vein tiny capillary breathe in leafy oxygen breathe out CO2 and I understand with my hot pumping body that what I call self is inextricable from the body here on this table the flannel blanket absorbing particles of me as I slowly cool the New Age music bothering my sensibility like a persistent gnat the laugh track last night on the rerun of Friends the forgotten French vocabulary and Pythagorean Theorem the anxieties waiting to swarm when I return to my usual state every encounter and memory since my small hot self emerged on this planet till the engine finally stops and I cool for good and the cells of me transform into earth ash air as my spirit into yours as you read these words

Meryl Natchez

Meryl Natchez

Meryl Natchez’ most recent book is a bilingual volume of translations from the Russian: Poems From the Stray Dog Café: Akhmatova, Mandelstam and Gumilev. Her work has appeared in Hudson Review, Poetry Northwest, The American Journal of Poetry, ZYZZYVA, The Pinch Literary Review, Atlanta Review, Lyric, The Moth, Comstock
Meryl Natchez

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Author: Meryl Natchez

Meryl Natchez’ most recent book is a bilingual volume of translations from the Russian: Poems From the Stray Dog Café: Akhmatova, Mandelstam and Gumilev. Her work has appeared in Hudson Review, Poetry Northwest, The American Journal of Poetry, ZYZZYVA, The Pinch Literary Review, Atlanta Review, Lyric, The Moth, Comstock