Poetry by Tracy Marks

Because I Feel Again
copyright 1972 by Tracy Marks
(after plunging headlong into the personal growth movement)

When I was fourteen, stuffed with fantasies
of romance, and making poetry my food
because boys wouldn't ask me to the movies
if I were fat - when I was fourteen,
I could feel. The sun was a ball
of butterscotch then, warming
my tongue; the sky really fell then,
breaking into pieces and pieces
of cardboard jigsaw puzzle, pieces
that cut like paper I tore suddenly from a notebook
not to find an hour later the slit in my forefinger
but to feel it then.

Even pain was good then.
It was all right to glory in it, to show it off -
I didn't "have" to be a woman then.
I didn't "have" to be anything at all
And yet I was everything, everything -
leaping from bed in the morning and
fighting sleep at night, letting blood flow
into every artery and then out out
into words to my best friend over the phone
at midnight, out onto paper at 3am
when I could no longer contain the joy.

I felt everything then, felt until the
wounds were so deep I had to build myself
a coffin out of cardboard and bury myself
in the garden without even
a sky above to threaten my security.

I'm twenty two now or will be, a
woman now or won't be, I won't be, I
want to scream till the sky falls

World, I've got to own you back, spew out
the shit you toss off as nourishment,
write my own recipes, add my own spices, cut
my own herbs from my own garden, dig up
that corpse and fling it up so hard that
the sky falls down on me and cuts  jagged slits
into every finger of my hand, into every inch
of my flesh, and cry cry cry with joy
because I feel because I feel because I feel

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