Muscle Memory

By Anne M. Carson,


The dog’s legs twitch where she lies

on the rug, remembering, we say,

her run in the park, leaping and

loping in the forever freedom

of imagination’s paddock. In bed

your flung arm drapes my hip, hand

clenching and releasing in rapid

succession. Pulses of energy fire

into the night. Are you practicing

Rachmaninoff rills for the concert?

Even in sleep your wrist contracts

and lets go, plays my hip – your

night time makeshift keyboard. Or

are you giving the bike repeated

squirts of juice, working the throttle

as you straighten curves on a dream

ride? Conscious or not muscles

sing their kinetic songs.


This work has been gratefully supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.



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