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Map of Myself

Everything hurts though I can’t quite feel

I learn to lean in my body’s pain body for the first time

tender to the touch

every nerve feels like a rocket

I imagine every vein a bending highway every muscle a collapsed mountain every disc a worn rung

I am forced to feel

the doctor shows me my spine “reverse curvature” he says

I am leaning the wrong way

I want to know what happened to turn me around

to set everything back

but I know and I know and I know

and I remember as he pricks me with fine needles that make my cells jump

I feel everything

the break in my knees my battered hip bones my incarcerated ribs the inversion of my cervical vertebrae

I remember everything

he asks does that hurt and how about now?

I nod yes and no/and I remember the untouches too

the holes the craters the dark matter the invisible space the galaxies undiscovered the missed the missed the missed

the missed the missed the missed

I remember arms folded inwards never towards

hands and lips that never came close

then I remember too close

too close

too close

bad touch

too close

I look at my pelvis bones on the map of myself

one lower than the other

the doctor will call it by a name other than absence. 

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