“My Body, So I Know It” – Poetry by E.H. Brogan

Cain - Lovis Corinth, 1917
Cain – Lovis Corinth, 1917

Body art gets Biblical in “My Body, So I Know It,” one of two very flappy poems by E.H. Brogan featured in our Summer 2015 issue available here, here, here, or here. And if you’d like to hear a recording of E.H. reading this poem, click the Soundcloud player below the text!

{ X }

I MARK MY BODY SO I MAY KNOW IT.
God marked Cain from Abel to tell
the difference, and he made us, so this
seems not insane. You may even know
how similar we all look, of one image,
god-damned & god-shaped. Who can blame
His confusion? Our world is His warped mirror.

I chose my tools: bars and ink.
God is Light and I used the first
to create holes all over and let
Him in – as He would say, illuminate me.
I used the ink more topically, to color
up what parts of me called for
more decoration, facts of His design:
swirls of fractal math change from lilac
through to teal in patterns, while creatures
He designed march on me like the Ark
in dual tone, black and white: giraffe,
and fish, lizard and lion.

But His best invention is the Word.
I make my skin the page.
I am always writing.

I mark my body so I know it,
can find it easy, in a glance.
No other vessel has marks like
I’ve laid on mine. A thousand cuts
in all directions and each one lets in
another crown of blessed Light.

{ X }

image1E.H. BROGAN is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a B.A. in English. She has poetry in or forthcoming from Star*Line, Cider Press ReviewBop Dead City, and others. She blog-runs and co-curates for Kenning Journal. Her house is built of books. Tweet @wheresmsbrogan for more.

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