Various and Sundry Poetry

poem after surgery

Tablespoons of chocolate pudding.
Gospel music slicing through rain.
Tabloid literature on the coffee table.
Three o’clock in the morning and still awake.
A bright red shirt.
A new pair of walking shoes.
Sex.
Avocados.
Tomato soup.
The two blocks to the train.
The sound of the doorbell.
The heady smell of the cheese shop.
Laughter.
An oval tablet four times a day.
Glasses and glasses of water.
A vase of orange tulips winking open.
The careful art of bathing.
A scar you already love.
Pomelos in the green bowl.
The cry of a distant ambulance.
Scavengers rummaging the recycling.
The twinkle of glass.
The deck, sodden and gleaming.
Dreams of swimming and giant movie theaters.
Your father, the evening before departure.
The heft and softness of his shoulders.
Your mother, fixing up a salad.
The slow peeling of bandages.
Tea.
The back of the woman you love.
Her fingers threading your hair.
A slim filament of moonlight.
Slippers.
The slide toward sleep.

You could start anywhere.
Start here.
Because you know
nothing
will be the same again.
And you know the body
is just the beginning.

Small acts of redemption are hiding
where you least expect them,
inkling seeds burgeoning in the dark soil,
an unseen greening,
in you and out of you,
even if you couldn’t quite bring yourself
to believe it. Believe it.
All that is alive, alive, alive.
And there is no choice now
but to walk into that life,
that infinitesimal,
unfathomable geography,
and allow yourself
at last
to be healed.