Our Bodies
By Stephen Michael Mcdowell

our bodies will stop being just our bodies at some point

cool, so,
why even name abstractions

or consider them nouns
why is there such a thing as soup
proposal: a new part of speech
that refers exclusively to abstraction
we can call this new classification
an ‘idea' or 'proper ideas'
this is dumb
this poem should be titled
‘memes versus things you can touch’

‘memes’ vs.
‘things you can touch’

when i think about it
for more than three minutes
i realize i am a series of ideas
and a mesh of other people’s ideas
which i have no ability to experience
outside of just being those thoughts
but i am just as much myself inside a body
as i am people’s thoughts about me.
feel really bad after all those carbs

was going to make scrambled eggs…
too tired now…

yawned, going to look at
baby videos
on youtube
happy, non-verbal dreaming

almost fell down
the stairs

macbook in hand
partly because, tired
partly because we were skyping
and you are beautiful
and staring at your face on a computer
is more stimulating
than navigating my house

the series of assumptions
i perceive myself making
when talking to other humans frighten me

i feel unable to ignore
previous experiences
assumptions. assumptions…
both seem bleakly intangible

i want to contact the one girl, my age,
who was born in the antarctic

and ask her on a date
or if she's married,
ask her husband or wife
if it's okay
if we be 'just friends'
because i think i relate to her
having been born
in a time and place
of bizarre adversity on a large orb
like, wow, you're human like me
let’s go get sushi or something,
wow, check us out

i hope one day to stop
referencing my parents

but my dad touched my shoulder
and said something to me
my conscious brain thought
'person firmly touching my shoulder'
and started to panic
but my involuntary response
was to say something short,
automated, endearing
felt uncomfortable when i became aware
of having said it
i don't even remember what i said
something about love probably
does everyone kind of feel fear re dads
just like a sort of morbid,
dispassionate awareness
that you are derivative of this thing

our bodies won’t be bodies anymore
after a million years

i sit next to you in a room
we look at laptops
you aren’t watching me write this
you are enraptured
by the ‘postsecret’ website
i feel bored and move to kiss your neck
you withdraw from surprise
but still let me kiss your neck gently
you glance at me and smile with your eyes
i look at your face
i know we are probably doomed
our lives, our relationship
i feel sentimental and i kiss your face
your hair is in the way
i place my laptop on the futon beside me
and use my hand to move your hair
and kiss your face again
you turn and watch my lips closely
as i move into you
you will be dead one day, i think
this house won't exist one day
your lips feel soft, you smell like honey dew
i want to calmly rip your blouse in half
like a sheet of paper
and kiss your whole body
like a giant cheek

eventually i won't let me kiss you
this is a fact
that one day will be the last day our faces touch
so grab my face and press
hard against it and cry a little
and feel sure that i am the same to your face
as guacamole to your tongue
one day we will get bored of us
our bodies will get bored of living
then get bored of being bodies
food for some thing

you seem aroused, somewhat
but already noncommittal


stephen michael mcdowell lives in maryland