11.3 (Spring 2007)   The 2River View  

Jana BoumaListen


The Body Remembers

Again the cry, the bleating, hiccupping, insect buzz.
The world come to this: Covers thrown back, body rising,

feet shuffling their worn path across the hall, past the streetlamp's
bars and shadows. Bending to see the red face, the balled fists,

the arms and knees pulled to the chest, quivering. Lifting
the small heaviness, feeling the rounded firmness of bones,

muscle and flesh, the tender rolls on forearm and thigh,
the hardness of down-covered skull. Brushed by that small, open blossom,

tilting, rooting, resistless, the breast gives the familiar response,
the tingle, the spreading warmth, the rush of the milk, ready, eager.

Once more, the kneading fist, the slow-sweeping, feathered eyelids,
the satisfied, inexorable rhythm, the world a place of milky, sweetsour darkness.


Swimming Dock, Longville, Minnesota

The four of them propel the little boat from the beach
to the wooden platform, where they tie off

and scramble up, adjust their bathing suits, giggle and jostle,
feint and half-step toward the water. They stand here

because they do not want to face the shoreline's gentle slope,
the step and hesitation, the recoil of timid flesh at the water's icy rise.

No. Here above these clear depths, they may pause for one
moment's anticipation, a season of glances. Then,

a thunder of feet, a chorus of shrieks, and their bodies
take flight, arms pointed prayerfully, legs akimbo, soaring toward

that spasm of chill surprise by which they're baptized,
feeling their bodies open, saying, Yes, yes.




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