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By Aracelis Girmay

   Body of sight. Body of
   breaths. Body of trying.

Beloved, to
day you eat,
today you bathe, today
you laugh

Today you walk,
today you read,
today you paint, my love,

Today you study stars,
today you write,
today you climb the stairs,

Today you run,
today you see,
today you talk,

You cut the basil
You sweep the floor

& as you chore, touch
the ankles & hairs of your befores
who look up from their work
in the field or at the chisel
to tell you in their ways: You Live!

Added: Friday, December 25, 2015  /  Used with permission.
Aracelis Girmay
Photo by Sheila Griffin.

Aracelis Girmay grew up in Southern California and now lives in New York with her family. She is the author of the collage-based book changing, changing, and the poetry collections, the black maria, Kingdom Animalia, and Teeth. She is the editor of How to Carry Water: Selected Poems of Lucille Clifton and is on the editorial board of the African Poetry Book Fund. Girmay taught at Hampshire College for several years, and before that facilitated community and youth writing workshops in New York and California. She is currently the assistant chair of the Writing Program at Pratt.  Girmay was a featured poet at Split This Rock Poetry Festival in 2016.

Other poems by this author