Journalism In Verse


Toward an American Somatics

in Health/Opinion by

Acute double
fracture. Left tibia. Right fibula.
It was a crash of values, some say; others blame
foreign-imported mechanics or the unpracticed
hands at the wheel.

Fractured country
that this is and we have no medics.
They’re tied up in visa checkpoints in London, Cairo,
Berlin, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Rome.
We cannot afford medicine. We are
penalized for not affording medicine.

Now one
hand moves to place the key past our lips
while the other clenches until its knuckles are pale
as marches. Only the creases brilliantly dark,
increasingly hidden.

Without doctors,
and with only borders, we have little respite from
the lightning strike spasming across those
rooting limbs, from those tender muscles
that only fill with blood in dissent, that only wake
from phantom sleep during desperate and crippling

Being one
body, hopelessly divided, eternal underdog, caught in
this violence with ourselves, with the place we are,
with all of the trauma that it and we can carry forth,
at the end fractured in each and every limb vital for
forward locomotion —

Until we
notice that the atoms of this country spin
distantly together, how can we hope to pitch
ourselves forward into a welcoming gesture
for the millions migrating into the future?

In America it only makes sense to speak somatically
ever since we have lost our minds.
And so the fracture deepens and lengthens,
it spreads
and splits
with word.

America, at last convinced of its injury;
vegetative, furious, walled, and locked:
we sit before our screens and scream and scream,
and in so doing, silence all thought.

Elle Aviv Newton is a poet, editor, art critic and journalist. She is a fourth-generation native of Oakland, California where she is writer-in-residence at B4BEL4B Gallery. Newton has lived in numerous cities around the world including Bangkok where she founded the Krung Thep Poetry Circle. She is coëditor and cofounder of Poets Reading The News.

Photo by Ezra Jeffrey on Unsplash.

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