The live-wire of my body,
vigilant tuning fork, vibrates low.
Watching you walk, run, heave
a mottled brown ball toward netted hoop—impossible
to dream—a braided vision
of normality—I am no longer a chicken
pecking circles round your every moment,
as if that dance kept me from being
unzipped, or you, from falling.
Yet, each time your labs return
a notch too high or, a milky fog appears
inside one eye and your knuckles flare, grated
red, I curse the resurrected
hope-wagon I thought to ride on.
Still full of flint, ready for conflagration,
I would strip bark with my teeth, slice
the neck of pestilence—a fenestration
for cords coiled from my hair and flayed skin—
plait a lasso, harness, bower, anything
to keep the sky clear
of your unfurling.
(an earlier version to be published in Fall 2011 by UCSF Press Healing Art of Writing anthology)