Never Forget Why Your Wrist Throbs
Look, when the insurance runs out,
the ulna sets itself
that clutch-at-the-railing/tumble down
two flights of Victorian stairs,
babe in arms, your wrist
eagerly sacrificed to save him.
Twenty-some years later,
after the boy gets cancer
your body remembers,
hoards its wounds like a black hole,
your right wrist, thicker than your left,
that knobby protrusion
a talisman you rub,
while the blame feeds on itself.
Even now you know his death
was your fault.
Even now your body
yearns for him,
the arthritic ache that pulses
an image of his face,
a supernova, each time it rains.
First published in Gyroscope Review, 2016, nominated for the Pushcart Prize