Dust stretches its arms

I think about illness
traveling from one body
to another like an imperceptible, shy
greeting: a sneeze salutes
a neighbouring mouth

thick with openness. I’m on a new medication
that pushes my soul out
of my body
like a pine forest cut down
to make room

for glass. If we are tender
with our bodies, even a grain
of rice has meaning, even the soft body
of dust stretching its arms
like a young girl at a concert

body not yet aching with gravity.

Anna Veprinska’s first book of poems, Sew with Butterflies, was published with Steel Bananas Press in Toronto in 2014. In addition to this, Anna’s poems have been published in several literary magazines, including Echolocation, Labour of Love, and Etcetera (the creative and literary supplement of the University of Oxford’s Cherwell). Anna holds a Ph.D. in English, specializing in empathy and contemporary poetry after trauma, from York University with academic work published in Contemporary Literature and The Bristol Journal of English Studies.