Friday, June 24, 2016

"Stem" by Anne Carly Abad, Frequent Contributor



Stem
Anne Carly Abad

Stay away from strangers.
Didn't you claim me as your own flesh
under that stained light
the scent of plumeria, a spell
fortifying already-binding incantations?

Yes, my good qualities
may be as undifferentiated
as a mundane cell
but for our own good
listen: there is a reason why
the body rejects that
which isn't its own.

Don't harvest pieces of me
in the wake of my failures--
the scalpel of regret and secret yearnings
leaves unseen scars despite its gentleness--

take away enough
and you will cultivate me too well
in another.
I will be the body foreign.
Imagine how it is
to lose to my better likeness




Poet's Notes:  While browsing my newsfeed, I watched a video about how organs can be "bleached" with a special detergent. Be it a pig's heart or a human's, the replacement becomes viable because its original cells can be replaced with new ones, thus "reprogramming" the original to work as someone else's organ. It makes you realize how we're not so unique after all--that even a pig can take the place of even the most vital parts of ourselves and not be noticed by our own bodies.

Editor's Note:  While a literal interpretation of this piece is interesting, I find a metaphoric interpretation even more so.  Romantic love only succeeds when lovers accept each other's attractive and unattractive qualities, whether those qualities be physical or psychological/emotional.  Picking away the "unattractive" qualities leads to depersonalization, boredom, and ultimately a failed relationship.

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