“The Body Analog” placed third in THE BODY contest (poetry), judged by Roy G. Guzmán.
I sing the body analog, the body offline, driven to silences.
I sing the nearly out of reach to all but the siren filled night, with those retreating to the highway berms beside poppies closed for the night, shut down, or sleeping
in shade, or refusing to meet anyone’s eyes
on the last metro car. So sleeps the body virtual, unable to rest for long.
The eyes of the mind and the eyes of the body disengaged from
each other. The body endlessly wanting, as if all things are achievable
if only the hands can attend. I sing the bluetooth connection. I sing the hands free, the henna’d. The otherwise occupied,
the decorated tethers. The body embellished, tattooed with text profiles, fed with constant feeds. I sing the described and rejected body. always hungry. The body coated with longing to be not the body virtual, puppet propped against online corners. A winky face, an imagined rose.
I sing the body out of batteries, charging uncharged through life without access.
The body suddenly out-of-date, expiration breathing down the body’s
cordless neck. O wall socket. O adapter, O stranger who will let me connect. Not even knowing the smallest thing, time, to the largest, the unanswered plea for attention, the last message from a lover with an ultimatum.
Who among us is not a clockwork body, daily disconnected,
as any good songbird from clocks must find its nest or make one.
I sing the body renewable. Plant based carbon and carb on and no carb. I sing the body upcycled into trees or producing diamonds from dust,
you who can wear your dearest losses next to you, who choose to repurpose the past.
I sing the gemstone body after-body. Who dreamt up this next step? Push me into myself until my facets flare again sunward. Body afterbody
I sing you, I celebrate, I sing an oldie, a cover, a stolen track. Downloaded.
I become illegal. My diamond self outdated data. I sing a song whose lyrics
demand release. Put me on repeat and let me glitter. Spam me with beautiful desire for new and newer. Spam me, or leave me forever. Come in contact with me,
or call me no more. Unsubscribe me so I can drop like rain from the uncaring cloud into the world of waves and fishes, watery miracles for anyone to pair, to put on.
Sarah Ann Winn’s first book, Alma Almanac (Barrow Street, 2017), was selected by Elaine Equi as winner of the Barrow Street Book Prize. She’s the author of five chapbooks, the most recent of which is Ever After the End Matter (Porkbelly Press, 2019). She teaches poetry workshops in Northern Virginia and the DC Metro area, and online at the Loft Literary Center. Visit her at bluebirdwords.com or follow her @blueaisling.
Artwork by: Ashley Inguanta
Ashley Inguanta is an art and portrait photographer. Starting out in photojournalism, Ashley found her love for landscape, place, and human expression as she navigated the world of newspapers in the late 2000s. For five years, she served as Art Director to SmokeLong Quarterly, and she’s also collaborated on book cover projects with indie publishers like Burrow Press and Press 53. Additionally, Ashley is the author of three collections: A chapbook, The Way Home (Dancing Girl Press 2013); a hardcover art and poetry collection, For the Woman Alone (Ampersand Books 2014); and Bomb, a full-length collection of poetry (Ampersand Books 2016). Her newest full-length collection of poetry and prose, The Flower, is forthcoming with Ampersand Books.