Jenna Whittaker--Touching Words

Jenna Whittaker holds a Master's Degree in English Literature.  She is currently a graduate student at Indiana University-Bloomington, where she also works as an Associate Instructor of Composition.  Jenna specializes in Renaissance Literature, but she considers herself a generalist who loves the written word in its myriad forms. Poetry holds a particularly special place in her heart, and she hopes to be able to devote more time to her own poetry in the future. Jenna also enjoys horseback riding, photography, and dancing.


Touching Words

Do you ever stop
and feel the caress of a word?
Let it shiver
across your cheek
and down the back of your neck?
Do you ever let it tap-dance
upon your spine
or play each vertebrae
as the ivory keys of a piano
climbing to crescendo?
Do you ever let it sink
beneath the fortress of your skin
and unfold its limbs
upon your aching muscles?
Do you tear into it like a present,
or let it tiptoe out of its chrysalis
and flutter around your ribcage?
Do you ever drink it like wine
and let it swim through your blood?
Or let it cry
through the porous shell of bone
into the uncultivated vitality
tucked away in our marrow
waiting for the moment
when we will actually start living?
Do you ever let it transform
your body from noun to verb?