Physical Education

Lucy Wainger


We fold into the sixth-floor gymnasium like wings / along a spine, opening the windows, / every window. We ask to open / every window & the light falls / in, drip / drop, click clack, / basketballs pound the gessoed floorboards. / Tenderize. / The heart is also / a kind of meat, by which / I mean it can be eaten. / We have thirty-four mouths. Nearly twice as many hands. / Birds fall in through / every open window, like / light / streams through translucent hands / streams through glasses of water / bodies of water. Our spines unfreezing, refreezing, all the vertebrae / rearranged, all the light refracted, / all the birds dripping / feathers, our hands folded / wings, fists / basketballs, skin / stretched canvas, mouths open / notebooks & we need / to eat. / The thing they don't tell you / about refraction / is you have a body all the time.