poetry

the acupuncturist

I was so afraid to leave you
I didn’t realize this
until recently,

when she, with delicate fingers,
swiss-cheesed the lobes of my ears and
the flesh between my toes,
and placed over my eyes a terry cloth towel
to block the nosy sunlight
from distracting me.

Holy
nose,
toes,
ear lobes,
white walls,
crystals,
salt rocks,
the digital rendering of a waterfall.

Flat on my back,
belly exposed,
sweaty palms crossed
over breasts;
nose working over time.

the moisture worked
its way up and out,
tear drops surrendered sleepy
yawns, obeyed
and fell in line,
leached
from organs and
tissues,
they
called to each other
reunited in swollen eyelids
and proclaimed:

FREEDOM FREEDOM FREEDOM

(or, “I am not afraid to leave you,
I left you.”)

and on the seventh day
the Lord saw what he had made,
and said

“It IS GOOD.”

Holy
nose,
toes,
ear lobes,
white walls,
crystals,
salt rocks,
the digital rendering of a waterfall.

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other people's poems, poetry

leaving early

“Leaving Early”
Leanne O’Sullivan

My Love,

tonight Fionnuala is your nurse.
You’ll hear her voice sing-song around the ward
lifting a wing at the shore of your darkness.
I heard that, in another life, she too journeyed
through a storm, a kind of curse, with the ocean
rising darkly around her, fierce with cold,
and no resting place, only the frozen
rocks that tore her feet, the light on her shoulders.

And no cure there but to wait it out.
If, while I’m gone, your fever comes down —
if the small, salt-laden shapes of her song
appear to you as a first glimmer of earth-light,
follow the sweet, hopeful voice of that landing.
She will keep you safe beneath her wing.

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