Krista Cox

ELEGY FOR THE INNER HALF OF MY L4/5 DISC


Sometimes I experience gratefulness as an odd
tingling sensation, hummingbirds nuzzling
my lymph nodes and elbows. Now, if I can get an hour
of face-down sleep on a small corduroy pillow
I wake up painting joy onto everyone in thick
and opaque strokes. This feels like something
to share in a letter to my mother, a reason to unlatch
the sunflower stationery set I got for my thirteenth
birthday and never used, but the hard truth is that
some mothers will not come to the burial
of some small part of you. My therapist
tells me new research shows the brain doesn’t distinguish
between physical pain and emotional, and while I’m standing
in my living room rocking and sobbing at 3 a.m. while my
spine bows a screech across the cello of my thickest nerve, I recall
that my ex-husband told me during our divorce to take
an aspirin for the heartache. Later he developed
MS and honestly, it disgusts me that he may understand
me better now than my present lover can
despite his efforts. What it means to tremble, how the softness
of that word is a violent lie. How you begin to feel
like you’re a skin suit for pain so it can move through the world,
surreptitious. How every sensation that does not
dismantle you, like that gentle buzzing in your
neck, is a love song to a body you barely remember.


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