Jee Leong Koh
ASIAN ART
 
Finger-Nails

If you will not sleep with me, let’s talk about the soul.
I think the soul is what the body imagines as its opposite.
When the body feels like a cut flower, it imagines the soul a diamond.
When the body weighs like an animal, it imagines the soul air.

This is probably false but certainly more benevolent
than thinking of them as opponents—
the body as a threshing floor for the soul’s harvest,
or the soul an interrogator of the body’s secrets.

Some question the idea of a soul, or the need,
They are usually na´ve materialists and I confess
I’ve said one or two things, in the past, that sounded like their creed,
but tonight I prefer to think

of the soul as the finest sensations of the body,
not just an idea but the poem of its height, length and breadth,
the first kiss,
the finger-nails, from which the body hangs, and contemplates its death.


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