13 Jul
Posted in: Poems
By    Comments Off on Me and Not Me

Me and Not Me

Time for a little poetry…but I’ll give Mary Oliver a rest. For today:

My Proteins
by Jane Hirshfield

The have discovered, they say,
the protein of itch–
natriuretic polypeptide b–
and that it travels its own distinct pathway
inside my spine.
As do pain, pleasure, and heat.

A body it seems is a highway,
a cloverleaf crossing
well built, well traversed.
Some of my going north, some going south.

Ninety percent of my cells, they have discovered,
are not my own person,
they are other beings inside me.

As ninety-six percent of my life in not my life.

Yet I, they say, am they–
my bacteria and yeasts,
my father and mother,
grandparents, lovers,
my drivers talking on cell phones,
my subways and bridges,
my thieves, my police
who chase my self night and day.

My proteins, apparently also me,
fold the shirts.

I find in this crowded metropolis
a quiet corner,
where I build of not-me Lego blocks
a bench,
pigeons, a sandwich
of rye bread, mustard, and cheese.

It is me and is not,
the hunger
that makes the sandwich good.

It is not me then is,
the sandwich–
a mystery neither of us
can fold, unfold, or consume. 

Comments are closed.