Late Night Rap of Soul and Body

When you speak, and fingers snap,
it’s I who tell you what to rap.
I own your hands, I own your feet,
I own all your dancing meat.
You have no home but meat and bone.
You are not you in space, alone.
If my bones break, you cannot move.
How then, my Soul, do you show love?
I’d shake you till the last bulb blew
and with the dawn do something new.
Your Soul, who’s master of his ship,
says bell your sails from toe to hip!
You’d have me break and die for fair
from endless wear and terrible tear.
But no, I’ll sleep. What can you do?
If I am tired, then so are you,
and when I sleep, you too must sleep,
and in your universe must keep,
among your dreams, inside my head,
a restful quiet in our bed,
till we awaken, straight and narrow,
freshened, like a new-fletched arrow.

E. M. Schorb has published several collections of poetry, including Time and Fevers: New and Selected Poems (AuthorsHouse, 2004), which was chosen as a 2007 Eric Hoffer Book Award winner; A Fable & Other Prose Poems (2002), Murderer's Day (1998), winner of the Verna Emery Poetry Prize; 50 Poems (1987); and The Poor Boy and Other Poems (1975); and a chapbook, Like the Fall of Rome and Other Humanitarian Disasters (1980). He is also the author of two novels: Paradise Square, which won the International eBook Award Foundation's Frankfurt eBook Award for "Best Fiction work originally published in eBook form," and Scenario for Scorsese (both Denlinger's Publishers, 2000). His poems and prose have appeared in Best American Fantasy 2007, as well as The American Scholar, The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Chattahoochee Review, Chelsea, The Literary Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Southern Review, The Sewanee Review, The Texas Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Yale Review, among other journals. His honors include Fellowships in Literature from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the North Carolina Arts Council, and grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, the Carnegie Fund for Authors, and Robert Rauschenberg & Change, Inc. (for illustrations in The Poor Boy). He lives in Mooresville, North Carolina.