The Fatigue

Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch

The Fatigue is just fatigue. It

sprays my body like

a numbing agent. Say the

way I sleep might not be

working, say the way I eat

might not be working.

Hope to god the meds

start working. The other day

she said you need firmer

boundaries. Sometimes

this looks like an earlier

bedtime. Fuel your body

with hope that something

might change. Like a bowl of rice

steaming, put it in your mouth

and huff, too quick, too impatient

but if nothing changes, keep

moving. A challenge is only a challenge

once you stop trying. No, I mean

a challenge is always a challenge

when your body doesn't work right

what is right? They only say

the right side of history when

a few decades have passed. Someday

we will look back and see

much of the same. Say thank you

for your friends and the family that stay

in touch. Was it challenging? Everything is

changing. The fatigue is just fatigue

until it’s not.

 

Dive in
  1. What do the short lines in the poem build throughout the poem?
  2. At the beginning of the poem, the speaker says fatigue is just fatigue but at the end, they say fatigue is fatigue until it is not. What do they mean?
  3. The Fatigue can be read as a guide for how to read your body and its symptoms. Identify the ways the speaker has done this.
  4. This poem is an example of honouring our bodily differences. How does the speaker come to this realization?
  5. How can you recite this poem to reflect the fatigue the speaker is working through? Would reading slowly help? Find ways to pause, maybe in unnatural places where someone may not typically pause.
  6. Write a poem with short lines that reads your body. First ask yourself a few questions to get in touch with how your body is feeling: Are you hungry? Do you feel pain somewhere in particular? Are your shoes too tight? When you tune into your body in this way, you are reading it.

 

 

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Bibliographical info

Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch "The Fatigue" from knot body. Copyright © 2020 by Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: knot body (Metatron Press, 2020)

 

 

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