Poem: “The Body”

Most of your body is water.

Also, most of your body is oxygen.

Most of your body lives in darkness because it is 
the part of your body inside your body.

Some of the water that is your body will leak out 
through your skin at the gym.

If you removed all of your DNA and piled it on the coffee table, 
it would weigh about half a pound.

Your body is yours for as long as you’re around. 
But it will last a little longer than you do.

Your body comes with thumbs that don’t seem particularly special 
until someone explains them to you.

Your body is a space suit. You are not viable outside of it. 

Your skeleton is a puppet wrapped up in its own strings. 

Your life is a brief parole from non-existence.

Most of the cells in your body aren’t human.
They’re microbes, technically not yours at all.

Your body is the holster for your name. You will have to share 
your name with many other people. You will probably share 
your body with some people too.

There are only two alternatives to death.
But we haven’t discovered either of them yet.

Dessa (she/her) is a writer and musician who lives in Minneapolis and Manhattan. “The Body” is in her latest collection of poems, Tits on the Moon, published by the nonprofit literary organization Rain Taxi in fall 2022.