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Remica Bingham-Risher: Poet of the Week

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Conduit

Science says we are not autonomous, we carry each other
in our bowels and bellies, in our brains.

Cells, microscopic parts of us passed through
birthing or breast milk, stay with our mothers,

their mothers; vespers that prove
we do not work of our own accord.

The miracle is: inside, we only give,
not like the taking that persists outside ourselves.

Foreign cells flurry to an injured heart
repairing it before ruin,

staying for years, tens of years, tens of thousands
if we kept on living as intended.

What I take from this is what we are reluctant to bear:
the whole world is nothing but a valley

and in that valley there are mountains made of trees
and trees made of grass and stars that fall into

the underbelly of everything beginning again.
How can all this be mistaken?

Who can imagine we are not made?
We save our memories and talents,

gristle and muscle and bone—
all of what we are—rescued and re-born.

In the womb there is the drum of the heart
beating, speaking to another small drum

and the music is a valley we are all coming to
conduits, chimeras, too vast to be named.

Remica Bingham-Risher’s Poets Tour Profile