“Pratikriyasana” by Keith Pertusio

Keith Pertusio


(Counter pose)

My heart leaps
at the rap on the window.
A flashlight.
I am lying on the floor
on my back,
eyes closed,
a twisting counterpose.
I jump up.
“Just making sure you’re not dead,”
he says.
I smile.
Who says I’m not?

from Rattle #76, Summer 2022
Tribute to Prisoner Express


Keith Pertusio: “In prison, poetry became my essential therapy to processing the moments inherent to life in a human warehouse—the tragic, the absurd, the overwhelming, the simple, the joyful, and the transformative. Later, I found yoga as a form of moving, tangible poetry. Now, yoga expresses in experience what I struggle to say in words, while poetry expresses in words what I struggle to say about experiences. It is an honor to do both, to fill my cell with the resonance of poetry.”

Rattle Logo