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Poems

Healing

When I thought I might die,
not eventually, but very
soon, I treated me more kindly,

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Good Enough

Three weeks after my mastectomy, I traveled south.
I slung my carry-on bag crosswise over my body
and jostled my way through the airport, the bag
in front of me, to form a barrier, protecting my incision.
I let my arm rest on the bag,

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In the Regression of Aging Bodies

There are buttons he can’t slip in notches
And zippers he forgets to zip
There are broccoli stalks that need slicing
And urine stains scoured from floors
There are socks that need feet
And shoes that need their socks

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Recurrence

What was it my father said to me
when I forgot to latch the gate
and we spent the night in the woods
searching for eyes among shadows
of tree trunks cast by flashlight?

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Dying Is Ugly

Bang my shins, my temple on the gritty wall
Of Charlie’s deathbed
Where we do not wrest the truth
But beg him Let us change the (piss-stenched) sheets.
He will not go for tests, insists, denial overarching

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Continent

          Contact: from the Latin for touch.
          Isolate: from the Latin for island.

Because your breath had touched mine,
I was obliged to metamorphose
into a separate land mass,
to wear a collar of brine
like a heavy gurgling yoke

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Seated on My Hospital Bed

My seventh-floor window vibrates,
          the room throbs in crescendo
as a rescue helicopter stitches
          a curved seam across the sky
bound for Children’s Hospital.

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Migraine

It’s not the heart that gathers all the pain
of our life, it’s the head;
burning head, cremating all my movements
forcing me to fake that I exist:

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Gratitude

When was the last time I combed my hair?
Before the ambulance, even longer

when the plate shattered
and he cleaned it up without speaking.

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You Are Made of Grace

What beauty the world holds cupped between
light and dark,
everything mortal,
rising with the sun, the grass bright with the shine of rain.

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Microcalcifications

A cluster, I say,
so small – see? I can cover it
with the tip of my finger. Tiny little
calcifications. I show
you the mammogram.

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