Monday, May 21, 2018

Grief (Re-Write #2)

We are built for loss, whether we know it or not,
we humans. Our memory is what God gave us
when He was not in a truly giving mood. 

Loss of innocence was a bite of real fruit. We cannot be hungry 
without it being a sin. Loss of the womb is called natural birth, 
and every mother & child can tell you the pain of creation is real. Loss 
of a child's imagination is called learning to live in the Real World, 
is called Oh grow up, will you?  

We talk all the time, but how little of that is Real Talk? 
Giving up being a nomad means pretending you own 
some piece of the world, and we call that real estate. 
Our ages are measured in real numbers. Life expectancy 

is a real concern when you live in Real Time. Praise authenticity 
when we say Keep it Real, but why is it we only say that
when we say Goodbye? People die. And the world continues
to just spin, like the people we lose are no longer real.

The real axis is where real numbers add up, but even
knowing that doesn't matter, really. Our hearts are in real pain
the real McCoy, for real & our grief is never a set of linear stages,
but rather, a design in real time, and yet all the everyone tells us
get real, and move on? Unreal...

We get it, World, we get it--

we read the real signs in every death, every October, every year:
every loss is real. Every loss is real. Every loss is real.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Pain Scale for Fossils (Re-Write #1)

The first thing nurses always ask-
is: Are you in any pain today?

And I say "Yes. The answer is always 'Yes'
That's how it is Chronic Pain. It's chronic.
Related to Time, as in, All. Of. The. But,
how could you know even though that fact
cleverly hidden in the medical history page 
in your computer that has my name on it.

Can you give the pain a number from one to ten?

So I say "Twelve. Or Twenty. Or Eleventy-five.

Because her numbers are not the same
as my numbers, so please- if this will save time
I am going to write this down...

Pain Level One: This is both of us waking to feel this way,

but, what you would call "a sick day" I call "Good morning."

Pain Level Two: Good morning, it is going to rain.

I know this, because pain is its own forecast. Pain births

itself, like a mythology, like a place that keeps discovering you.
My doctor and I examine charts, discuss excavations.
I know my body is a ruined temple,
because my doctor only speaks in lost languages.

Level Three: Good Morning, it is going to rain fire.

Level Four: I am starting to lose my shape from the rain...
Pain... whatever. It just hurts.

Level Five: This is the unsure place, the Rubicon 
somewhere in every day. The tipping-point between
Do I return to bed? Or keep walking in the rain?

Pain Level Six: It is raining. It is always raining, or going to,

or threatening. My to-do lists are written on rice paper.

Level Seven: Fifteen years ago, this pain kept me 
In bed, eighteen hours a day. Today my body is heavy
with coping strategies. The pain settles, 
like fossils, like silt and epochs. Someday, 
Level Seven will be my favorite Lost World.

Level Eight: Good Morning, it is raining crazy Tyrannosaurs.

Level Nine: Rain as Soothsayer, as Oracle, as Doom Prophesy,

Rain as Today and Every Day for Fifteen Years. My pain?
My pain today is a Fifteen and will never fit anyone's scale.

Level Ten: End game. Extinction event. Rain forever.