The Forms of Resistance

By Emily Berry Emily Berry
Is this mountain all rock, or are there any villages on it?
These are some of the things I said to her.

We bake because it is a way of overcoming.
In the journey of zest, I see myself.

On the news every day people are standing up screaming
or lying down screaming while others remain calm.

She pointed out that I had not made eye contact
with her at all. Then I cried properly in a short burst.

This is the worst example of any circumstance ever,
noted a journalist in his notebook.

Let butter and chocolate be a wish not to die!
I implored the bain-marie. She likened me to a sieve.

I clutch all my poems to my chest and count them
again and again. I am kneeling like a small dog.

What’s going on with this modern world
and the right wife not even knowing

what the left wife is doing? Now all you have to do
is cut off the legs. After an absence, after a hard task,

after the way the hand turns, like this —
There was so much I couldn’t contain.

She asked me how I was feeling in my body
at this moment; I said tense in my whole trunk area.

A strong smell of white wine. She said it came from
an impulse that she often used to have when she first

started practicing. She said she believed feelings
are held in the body. She asked me what was going on

with my breath and I realized I was sort of holding it.
Like the boxes in the cupboard. “Enough” can get bigger.

How much bigger, though? When I say
I’ve had enough, how will you know when to stop?

Source: Poetry (January 2014).

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2014
 Emily  Berry

Biography

Emily Berry’s debut collection is Dear Boy (Faber & Faber, 2013). She is also a co-author of The Breakfast Bible (Bloomsbury, 2013), a compendium of breakfasts.

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Poems by Emily Berry

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Sorrow & Grieving, The Body, The Mind, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict

Poetic Terms Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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