a fixture of time, measured in spans of the soul

now a faint pulse, dull in my chest

a line wound tight around this breath 

life’s line in a knot, not easily loosened

and the words

oh, the words in my head

get stuck in my throat

should I write them down

or should I forget?

but this body
is home, my childhood
is buried here, my sleep
rises and sets inside,
desire
crested and wore itself thin
between these bones –
I live here.

— Lisel Mueller, from “A Nude by Edward Hopper,” Poetry (July 1967)