twenty-six.

The physical therapist relieves my pain
Ultrasound and stim
Chiropractic and massage
Exercises and advice
I go diligently twice a week
Pay my $20 copay
Never complain
Nakedly I lie here while he twists and turns my limbs
inverts me
A female assistant observes
To make sure things are copacetic
Decorous
I’m not concerned
This will help me heal
But I just found out he’ll no longer take
My $600 a month insurance
I can’t keep coming
He’s pretty much seen every inch
But I’m afraid to ask him
For a break

– FLB

***

1. drowning:
the wave pushing me down
my foot trapped between
two pieces of jagged orange coral
reaching to pull it out
hammered by another set
the blood twirling around my ankle
like dark wine drizzled into a warm bath
tugging at the anchor
unable to breathe
unable to kiss my son between the eyes
unable to scream for help

2. watching my child choke:
the carrot or apple or piece of unmasticated meat lodged
my son clutching his throat
his espresso eyes pleading
both of us stuck in place
cemented legs
incapable hands
his lips a shade of blue frost
unable to breathe
unable to kiss me between the eyes
unable to scream for help

– LB

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