Pentimento

poem & photo by Elizabeth

PENTIMENTO

How his crew cut head froze, poised above the place I could not see between my thighs, his short rodent hair arcing from my hairless mound, my mind providing the anesthesia of amnesia as if a spinal block flowed through a slender needle, numbing my body clean. And now that you’ve cut your long wheat field hair, he is the one I see near my belly, holding a switchblade against the rivulets of warmth that run from your tongue through my lips, radiating out hips thighs breasts arching back outstretched fingers. Remembering till now only my hatred of him, but as your fingers touch my inner thigh, images slice through muscle of his hand on my throat, palm in my stomach, head pressed into the opening I could not see, and I want to run from your arms which have held me warm against your chinchilla skin. As your pomegranate taste hits the back of my throat, his rancid stench catches, numbs my body clean.

Thank you to the editor of Rising to the Dawn for publishing this poem.

Crutches: Six-tip-list

acrylic & photo by Elizabeth

My six week anticipated period on crutches turned into many months due to complications. Fortunately I made some modifications early on that helped get through this long period.

1-  Wear a good pair of gloves with excellent padding to protect the palms as well as the area between the forefinger and thumb. I used a pair of cycling gloves that I now use for free weights.

2-  Adjust the height of the crutches and handgrips so that the crutches permit appropriate distribution of weight and balance without leaning the armpits on top of the crutches.

3-  Wrap the hand and shoulder bars of the crutches with bubble wrap and secure with packing tape to provide extra shock absorption and prevent inevitable digging into the ribs or bones of the hands.

4-  Resist resting your armpits on the crutches, especially easy to do when you’re tired. It’s bad for the arms, shoulders, neck and spine. Instead, lift as if lengthening the spine while standing in a yoga class and try to maintain as “normal” a gait and stance as possible while using the crutches.

5-  Hardwood floors enabled me to use an adjustable-height office chair with rollers to get around without crutches. Sitting on the seat, I’d use my arms and non-casted leg to get around. While washing dishes and similar activities, I’d rest my casted leg on the seat and stand on my uninjured leg to maintain normal standing posture in the pelvis and spine. Sometimes I’d also use the chair like a high skateboard to scoot around–my casted leg resting on the seat, arms controlling the direction with the seat back, but be careful. Your main task is to keep yourself safe from further injury while maintaining as much physical balance, strength and flexibility as possible. My friend rented a cart specifically designed for this purpose post-foot surgery so see what’s available in your area. Once I was able to bear weight, I started “walking” while sitting in the chair to build my atrophied leg muscles.

6- REMEMBER: the only positive about crutches is that you can go to the head of lines!

Attending

poem & photo by Elizabeth

ATTENDING

I saw this car's hand letter sign
in its back window yesterday:
ATTENDING CHURCH.
Funny, it appeared to be parked.
And I'm surprised this car attends 
church at all unless it's saying that
under this starlit sky
whatever/wherever we are,
we are sacred and always
attending church.

Thank you to the editor of Marin Poetry Center Anthology VI for first publishing this poem.

Night Snack

poem & photo by Elizabeth

NIGHT SNACK

Tonight we plucked that apricot moon
and ate it,
not in a gulp,
but with long laps of tongues,
carving of teeth,
squeezing nectar against palettes
till it trickled
down
our
open
throats.

Thank you to the editors Linda Watanabe McFerrin and Laurie McAndish King for first publishing this in HOT FLASHES 2.