Bell’s Palsey


Her stomach had a brain-inflicted by trauma
and perpetual longing for a single drop of sanity.
This is what she was thirsty for-not juice,
not whiskey-not even water.
Dehydration amidst the hush sounds of self-doubt forced
the muscles up her spine to be taut and move
directly into her neck, slowly, as if being pulled by a crane.
Most days she'd throw on some baggy clothes to conceal
the gut distention-sporting over-sized jeans and loose t-shirts
with peculiar names like "Abstract Evil Barbie Doll."
She didn't always feel like a "lady" but she tried,
she really tried. And despite her sincere attempts at making
small talk with the "cool" kids,she kept mostly to
herself-keeping a cheap, blank notebook in her bag
in hopes to write something prophetic
like E.E. Cummings' "I Will Wade Out." A girl in
fourth hour laughed and said "your face, your face!"
And after looking in the mirror, she believed it-a nightmare
and torture to rule her before senior pictures.
If this was God's intention to make a girl sick with disguise,
then maybe we were all wrong.But it wasn't dogma
that made her eye sag and her mouth wilt-it was life.
Her mother's weathered hand on her shoulder
reminding her of valor and grace.
So she sits clairvoyant and naked,
with each silent moment,
swaying.

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