"I don't get/this mind-body thing," said the funny man. "The brain's/in the body, last time I looked." Whether they are re-interpreting family legend, grappling with personal myth or imagining a day in the life of Clara Schumann or Gertrude Stein, the poems in MY BODY TELLS ITS OWN STORY explore the boundaries between mind and body.

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A Living Will

Here, take what’s left of sunlight: these shadows
on my walls, these yesterdays in corners,
these dust mote reveries. To you,

I leave the echoes that crowd around
my bones: sonatas, waltzes, lowdown
blues and small tunes with no names.

I open out a diorama, fold it from the spine.
First memory: red metal swing suffused
by golden sun. A child swings out

to meet the light. Their shadows
draw her close. The dead are here
beside us: in our voices, in our touch.

The music plays us all it knows: the slow
laments, the hymns, the intermittent joy,
the steady hunger trapped in bones.

—Mary Zeppa