“My Skin Is Not Enough to Keep Me Warm” by Beverly Lafontaine
The sky is thick and heavy with clouds.
A neighbor’s dog barks. A yelp from a cartoon.,
Behind closed eyes I see his body shudder with every bark,
A car roars its presence, eager not to be
ignored. Never complete silence.
In this building, something always whirs,
simpers. Walls moan against the weight
they’ve borne for years. Water’s ceaseless
songs flush through pipes. All the sounds
of the day gather together, a congregation.
The refrigerator hums, reminds me,
You’re a body, just a body. A tongue, eyes,
nose, arms, legs. A body chilled by the cold,
warmed by the sun. A body definite in time and
place, destined one day to be a memory
conjured up by three notes on the piano
or a whiff of baking bread, then laid to rest
among seeds of wild grass.
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Beverly Lafontaine Artist Statement: Beverly Lafontaine is a Los Angeles-born poet and playwright. She has enjoyed four productions of her plays in the Los Angeles area and has had her poetry published in various poetry journals and anthologies, including Blue Satellite, Spillway, the Anthology of the Valley Contemporary Poets, So Luminous the Wildflowers: An Anthology of California Poets, and most recently, Beyond the Lyric Moment. As a collaborative artist she has worked with composer Tom Flaherty to create The Cellist of Sarajevo, a chamber music piece. Additionally, she was commissioned to create six poems that were incorporated into the sculptural work of Walk a Mile in My Shoes, a public art project dedicated to Martin Luther King and sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. As a journalist she has written for publications as wide-ranging as Essence Magazine, Soul Magazine and Caesura: the Journal for the San Jose Center for Poetry and Literature.
Beverly was an arts administrator for three decades. Believing as she does that the arts articulate societies’ most deeply held and cherished beliefs and aspirations, she is passionate about helping small to mid-size arts organizations and individual artists develop strategies that allow them to become recognized as vital and valued members of their communities. In that capacity, she has served on the board of Red Hen Press, as a Trustee of the Pasadena Arts Council and as a member of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Business Development Committee.