how much of our bodies do we really use

He tells me that birds live longest in proportion to the size of their bodies. They do not use their whole bodies, instead they glide.

Sometimes I wonder how much of my body is really in use. And what parts do I put away and which parts are preferred over the others.

We use our hands to summon taxis toward us or to wrap around pens and scribble words onto pages. We wave to each other; we ask to be called upon; we wipe away the sweat gathered from the summer sun.

Our necks twist, if we are lucky. Our knees bend and if we take the proper dosage of calcium through daily glasses of organic milk or pills, our bones are strong enough to catch us when we fall.

Some parts I prefer to ignore. Kind of like a friend that calls, climbing persistence into each message. If I ignore you, will you go away?

I wonder if the birds ever question their parts. Do they feel too defined by their feathers; do they wish for wider beaks or thicker legs to stand on? Do they approach each other as though gender really matters; or does each hum and whisper through the wind go without clarification of what they house within them?

We do not have to call ourselves what we’ve been called. Names may be changed and parts may be altered and what matters most is all this blood that pumps through us. And what matters next is that our thoughts still travel through and out. And matters after that is how we feel in these bodies.

beneath rust, there is something to be said.

It is early enough in the morning to assume that you are the only one awake. The sun may be out, but it still yawns with morning breath wafting against clouds, pushing them toward their daily mile. You are three quarters asleep, but alert enough to notice the sound of a bird, red like the tint of your hair, crashing toward the nearby window. Its beak is resilient, or it must be since it plunges against the glass once more. And then again. And again after that. You are stunned at its punishment or is this a ritual of a new day arriving. Does it want to come in? Does it want to get out? There is something to be said about the persistence of its pounding.

My bicycle used to remain indoors, but for the past year and a half it has been locked against the same sign post and its metal skin has changed from black to rust. It is the only thing I straddle these days, but it brings me joy and gets me to where I need to be much faster. My bike and I are philosophically entangled with the wind; I blink musical notes with each turn to alert the other shapes where I am going. A young boy on a bike tells me my back tire needs air and I feel such gratitude that he noticed this. If only we could pay closer attention to humans because we so often run out of air or we choose to breathe less and there is something to be said about someone stopping to say: keep breathing because I am conscious that you’ve stopped.

How about the time your skin hurt from being next to her. The arrival of spots called hives– similar to bees hoarding honey– holding your chest captive for several hours. As a child, they take your temperature with strips that measure the heat. Or in your ear or with the back of a hand. But what happens when suddenly someone else’s bones beside you create a rise of sun and moon and mountain top and the pitch of the loudest yell. What happens when another person becomes a thermometer entering you, evolving your degrees from 97.9 to high above the hundreds. There is something to be said about kinetics and the pungency of emotion.