Wednesday, December 3, 2014

When pain replaces pain

But let us return to the child of the poem.
There is more here than a girl in pigtails, dragging
a doll by the hair, more than two brown eyes shrinking
in the Texas bright. Notice, for instance, the absence
of others. Notice how close cactus needles 
graze the girl's waist, fire ants at her feet carrying
a grain of bread from here to there. Heat rises
from pavement in a hazy wave, the bottom of her
shoes stick as she goes left to right. You are here now
so you notice the sounds coming through the door
-- the yelling and silence shatter against a heat so thick
you can barely breathe.
You are a visitor but this common as cacti for the girl,
as scorpion inside shoe-- inside her
a sadness has taken its root and coiled deep
in her gut and only the blue cat hiding
beneath the couch, understands.
But let us return to the child of the poem. Let us
watch as she sits on hundreds of
needles. Let us watch fire ants swarm her
hands, arms, bite her red. Let us
feel relief of the sadness leaving her body
in its place—a screaming pain.

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