Poetry | January 07, 2022

The Nature of the Body of the Patient

Was it a pet gifted to her at birth, or the wild animalbroken to bear and carry the load of her, drag the cartof her. A ribbon around the throat or a thin leatherlash across her mouth. A seashell or wrapped in inchesof sweet fruit, bleeding juice before the rot. The sand.Covered in chain mail of charcoal scales or iridescentplumage. Her body is not the metaphor. Shelter is nota metaphor. What covers is not what sustains. The vehiclethat drags her closer inward, the car rumbling deeperinto the dark glitter of the mine. Or that scatters like light,a flock, a herd, a cloud of silver bait fish. Thunderheadwith heat lightning flaring the dark boil of it, hail like seedpearls studded in the dark velvet, like seeds sleepinginside the dirt, waiting for the burn of wildfire to crackopen. The impressions teeth leave inside her cheeks.

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