“Contact Improv,” a poem by Jack Meriwether

I just want to go where nobody’s gone before.
All the people here look so tired
But that’s what keeps them together.
I used to believe in perfectible beauty
No I used to think the world couldn’t hold me
Now I know it can’t.
She said slide your hands over each other
The surfaces becoming floor and body
And floor and body
Interchangeably.
She said in order to roll your body
You’ll need to find a point of contact
With the floor.
To move you need something to hold.
Now melt down the body of a stranger
Sidelong and heavy.
Feel the distrust in their calf muscles
Filled with cement and wear. Long and heavy
She stares back into me
With the eyes of someone just as sad.

Jack Meriwether is a poet and performance artist from Ohio currently living in New York City. Their writing can be found in The Fanzine, Deluge, Bad Pony, and Leste Magazine, as well as on their website, jackmeriwether.com. Jack curates the ongoing reading and performance series “BYOB (Bring Your Own Body)” in New York City. Jack’s chapbook Dear Husband is available from The Dandelion Review.

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