What is a Body if Not by John Elizabeth Stintzi

Poem Title: What is a Body if Not Poet Name: John Elizabeth Stintzi Poem: What is a body if not 						an empty backyard.  What is a body if not 						the middle of a story.   What is a body if not 						tomorrow, grinning.   What is a body if not 						a cup of yogurt 											expiring 											in a thirty-year-old 											fridge.   What is a body if not 						a failed experiment.   What is a body if not 						a forked road 											without signage  											overgrown 											when you forgot 											your machete at home.   What is a body? 							Why have one?  											Whose clay is to  											blame for this  											depression?  What is a body if not 						a crumpled  											paper flower   or a rhetorical question. 					Don’t tell me  											the secret.   Don’t tell me my body 						is everything 	or nothing.   What is a body if 							I am inside of it?   What is a body if not 						fire blamed  											for its hunger.   It is essential								to have a body   just as it is essential 						I remain  											the ghost  											astride it.   End of poem.  Credits: Copyright © John Elizabeth Stintzi Published in Junebat, House of Anansi, 2020  John Elizabeth Stintzi is a non-binary writer who grew up on a cattle farm in northwestern Ontario. JES’s work has been awarded the 2019 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, The Malahat Review’s 2019 Long Poem Prize, and the inaugural Sator New Works Award. Their writing has appeared in Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, Best Canadian Poetry, and many others. JES is the author of the novel Vanishing Monuments and the poetry collection Junebat. Their newest novel—My Volcano—is forthcoming from Two Dollar Radio (US) and Arsenal Pulp Press (Canada) in the spring of 2022.