Faith and the Burden of Blinking by DaMaris Hill

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Contributor Notes

Although most of my recent poems are in formal verse, I also experiment with self imposed restraints. In my more experimental work, I attempt to psychologically engage the reader using techniques that challenge the reader to negotiate between realism and surrealism. Faith and the Burden of Blinking is an example of these attempts.  The poem explores the body as a psychological prison. The subject embraces the esoteric obsessions of sexuality and spirituality. The boyfriend recognizes sexuality and spirituality as polar opposites. 

The boyfriend employs sexual restraint as a means of spiritual sacrifice. He is devout in his spiritual pursuits and in his relationship.  Ironically, the physical restriction the boyfriend imposes within the relationship leads the speaker to have an affair with Toussaint.  Toussaint becomes a sanctuary for the speaker, a space where she explores her humanity. The sexual affair edifies her human experience, he becomes her god.  

One aim of this poem is to create a sense of intimacy that extends beyond empathy and elicits a physical response from the reader. Enjoy!

DaMaris B. Hill is a doctoral student in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Kansas. Her writing has appeared in Telling Our Stories (2011), Sleet Magazine (2011), Reverie, The Bermuda Anthology of Poetry, African American National Biography Project, Warpland, Mourning Katrina: A Poetic Response to Tragedy, Women in Judaism and The Sable Quill.