wear and tear – June 1


forty years ago

on a rain slicked night

a car in front turned


at fifty miles per hour


and five years later

the back gave out, like

the twisted metal of

the driver’s seat,

on a drive north.


the nazi surgeon zapped

spinal nerves with an

electrode so her students

could watch legs twitch

of their own J-response



spinal damage so obvious

that we stopped trying to

get better without

the knife.


thirty years now it has

had its run. things simply

wear. we simply wear


and pain returns like those

first moments when you

thought it would go away

with a warm bath and

some scotch.


the body was not meant to

last forever. a machine with

a rated capacity, time line,

stroke parameter. but it

is still a shock


that none of us gets out of here


except in our souls


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