by on June 19, 2021 :: 0 comments

For many years I carried
all of my vital organs
in a tight sack I called my body
my own little country
where I planned to live out
my allotment of days.

Something puddled inside me
and began to plunder my insides
stealing, vandalizing
what gave me breath, force
leaving my skin-case sagging.

Eventually I dragged to the ER
in a distant land called sickness.
The nurses’ eyes flatlined and
they left me on a plastic chair
stewing in my bile-green juices.
A viral sunset turned bloody
then black, all blackness.

I awoke in a cold white tomb.
My skin had created outposts
for the army building within me
and the invisible soldiers
without passports
made camp, campfire, trouble.

Every few hours medical terror
gathered in huddles in my room
the cells of my body, every organ
responding in kind, building forts
tearing them down again.

Over time the organs surrendered
doctors expanding their territory
brisk teams in white coats
they fought for the side
of full diagnosis
an end
to the unknowns.

Finally with a gasp and a groan
somebody won it all—
mapping my country
with their own place names
and planting a white flag
deep in my flesh, bone
where my life once held forth.

editors note:

We are here to advance medical science, if nothing else. (We welcome Mickey J. to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

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