"Gymnopedie" This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

July 22, 2012
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There is a listlessness in rising
there used to be a warmth beside you,
a warmth in the waking breath that
matched yours
warm blood that rushed
with yours.
There used to be
in the waking,
in every gesture, every tooth you brushed
and every sheet tucked tight to the edge of the pillow
that fluttered its soft, ready skin under your nose
teasing you to come and
bite it
there used to be the excitement
of glances and touches
littered across the bed sheets

you push yourself out of bed
like you are pulling yourself
out of a swimming pool
sleep streaming down your body
weighing you back
down, towards the water
you open the window and close
your eyes as air spills onto you
billowing up your lungs with life
you can smell the spring
on the air
the new buds, the green sticky stems
you want
to reach out and pull them all into
your body
absorb their youth,
their newness

you decide
to fill the house with vases
of flowers
from imaginary lovers
cutting them yourself from bushes and trees
in parks and in your neighbor’s front yards
you cover every window sill and table
with them
and you write yourself love notes
that you string to their stems
as if hanging Christmas ornaments

you drink up the scent of birth
on their petals and in their pollen
like Ambrosia
let it nourish your bones, strengthen your muscles
you gurgle with it,
you grow with it,
and eventually
you find
there is a readiness
in rising.

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