Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Olympia, for Greg Louganis and sometimes Leni Reifenstahl

you know very well your body's weight
now heavy and down, now floating ever up
you have trained this transition
as you trained the tipping point
the fractional instant of immeasurable force
the will and the gut
that move you

for a moment from someone who jumps
to a diving boy: perfect, n human

subversive body
that tells you nothing
of the virus in your veins
nothing revealed as you face the plank
white blood cells mobilized
liver fatiguing and kidneys inflamed
as heartbreak accumulates in an artery somewhere
and your asshold recovers from two nights ago

when last you fell, felt feeling unmitigated
and let your body belong, briefly, to something strange

then when a neuron misfires in your cerebral cortex
and your leap is less bold than the one you'd imagined
--the way you'd imagined for weeks
this inhuman and bloodless and perfect plank leap--
when you realize with horror your brain is now plank
your body's lost focus
as the dive-spell breaks
your last thought before black-out:
there must be some mistake

you are not a sissy
you are a faggot who leaps
with assurance and sometimes
falls, whose body courses
with virus, whose blood fills the pool
whose gaping wound secret is public
permission for ridicule half a decade later
in stories by sissies
who've never leapt, not once

do not mistake the commentary
for open concern over
this diluted extension of body
this faggot exhibition of private self
learn to distinguish and grasp
the links between concern
and outright terror; absence of fear
and a positive fall

hey, must we ask your forgiveness?
that we are so surprised
at inhuman perfection become human
in time; we're afraid of infection
and the body's transition
and we don't want
to die
we don't
to die, we don't
want to be
our flailing falling selves
we want to imagine the leap
without failure, bloodless
and immortal: almost human, but better

No comments:

Post a Comment