Tina Richardson

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by Tina Richardson

Such as is a dish of water, such is the soul.
—Epictetus, The Discourses

Descartes believed that the soul resided
in the pineal gland, others held

that its seat was the spinal bulb, and others
posited it resided in the medulla oblongata. I hold the soul

is a little green thing
that does not know anything

of the inside nor the out, and it hasn’t always lived
in this selfsame body, I’m sure of it—

The soul exists in the body like the flame exists
in the candlewick.

And what of the children’s souls that wait
forever hiding in my other

body, feeling like the tongue
to missing teeth?

we never actually see and never, ever touch

But I will know—the soul
of the muskrat is far more coarse

than the human soul—the horse’s, far
more slick with sweat. And it carries

a current from being stored in all that metal—

Calcium, iron.

At death the soul will be weighed
by a legion—each a deity, each
a holy shape.
 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 3.

Tina RichardsonTina Richardson received her MFA in poetry from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan where she was also awarded a Zell postgraduate Fellowship. She lives in Louisiana, where she is working on her second collection of poems, There Is Chaos in Here.

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