archives spring 2008



What Makes the Body Universal

Who does not bear the mark of the moment of birth?

The first burst of oxygen burning the lungs.
The first furling of fingers, a desperate grasp
            to stop the mad rush into loudness and light.
The nurse’s gloved and careful hands.

Weren’t we all originally oceanic?

The lukewarm bath a chance to relapse.
Cotton-wrapped sleep in sheets
            still blessed with the dryer’s heat.
The first steps braiding the mother tether.

Weren’t our feet meant for fertile ground?

Breathing, something the body does
            in self defense.
The same for holding close and letting go.
The craving of salt and the wide horizon. 


Sandy Longhorn is the author of Blood Almanac (Anhinga Press, 2006), winner of the 2005 Anhinga Prize for Poetry, judged by Reginald Shepherd.  Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the Indiana Review, Quarterly West, Redivider, West Branch, Zone 3, and elsewhere.  She has recently received a fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council.