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—
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.
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