Truths Spoken By My Holy Body

By Courtney Quinlan

Holy truths: I am thirty-nine years old. Thirty- nine years of growth and decay. From first cries and steps to birth and breastfeeding to nourish life.

From eyes that are portals of time that somehow have their own memory. The visually imprinted kind. A mosaic of impressions and pictures stored in pupils. The eyes that see inside souls and belong to the night sky. Ancestral. Perhaps, deep or a place you can lose yourself. Perhaps, the truth tellers, the ones who don’t forget. The keepers of stories looking down from their watchtowers. Silent sight.

How I remember and celebrate with hands that cleanse and grip and tenderly touch. Hands that hold and cradle and fingertips that run softly across lips, tracing unformed words, willing them, pulling them out by strings, by veins and tendons.

Hips and head so tight. Neck and shoulders and jaw that clench, that grind. These, the surviving parts. The anchors that hold me, the bars that surround me. The lone parts, standing solitude. Standing army, terra cotta selves act as gatekeepers to the unknown, to the inside, to the surface beneath the skin where shadows play and lies and truth mingle into a version called my story, my perception.

This body has been bent and bruised and loved and made to feel like a goddess with a myriad of faces – sultry satisfied looks staring back at me. Legs and heart wide open. Ready to receive and restore after every lost or hurt piece.

Arms ready to wrap around or cradle or form themselves into safe havens for weary heads, for heavy heads, for heads with too many thoughts scattered like leaves.

Lips meant to whisper and speak and kiss upon soft and stubbled cheeks. Meant to rest upon foreheads and adorn themselves in bright reds and deep burgundies.

Soles of feet that touch the frigid snow and leave steamed imprints, who walk the forest floors and mold themselves among pebbles and sand. Heels that are hardened and coarse because they long to touch earth. Because they need to connect. They need to become root where skin and soil meet.

Broken, beautiful brain that brings so much joy and confusion and pain. All within minutes or moments. Synapses collapse like dying stars and thoughts fall heavy like snowflakes illuminated by street lights.

One melts on the pavement.

One rests on a bare branch.

One falls on the wing of a crow.

This body is sacred and flawed, it is marked with colored maps and territories formed by scars. Powerful imperfection. Shedding itself like second skin, like a dress falling to the floor.

This body is an invitation or a trespassing sign.

A body that needs holding. A body that needs healing. One that can offer these very things to others.

This body is mass and muscle and bone and fat and blood. Transposed by generations of previous bodies. Ones who may represent my nose or olive toned skin. One who may have been the same height or lived on a different continent.

This body has been time in the making.

An evolution that will one day accumulate.

This body is permanent. This body is malleable. This holy body is temporary.

For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Rhythms and Roads.

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