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Poems

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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A Question

Having told me you’ve had low energy
and decreased interest
in the things you used to enjoy
(reading, Canasta, sex),
I ask you,
because I believe we have enough rapport—
though how can one ever be certain—

Have you had thoughts of killing yourself?

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Womb in Waiting

              “Yes, death will make the poem end.” – Danielle Chapman

              i History

Fact: my mother had a hysterectomy at age 80.
Fact: she had birthed six children, miscarried one.
Fact: she told us she did not need those parts anymore.
Fact: she was diagnosed with breast cancer at 94.
Fact: her sister was diagnosed at 98.
Fact: my aunt chose a mastectomy, lived to 103.

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