Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ears

I was blessed with taste and smell. My hearing? A constant battle. This poem has been inside me since I was a little girl, squeezing the arm of a sterilized chair with my mom looking on like she was in pain for me. It still doesn't say everything, but it feels good to write about my ears for once.


Half head
a diving bell,
invisible and flooding
with murmur and hiss,
with feeding hummingbirds.

I move about the office
as a string of ribbon released
from the cage of a fan.

Not knowing how to heal,
my body simply
leans,
adjusts,
bargains with floaty side effects,
tossed covers,
increased effects of alcohol,
imbalance.

In the chair
he asks if he's hurting me,
but there are abstruse degrees
I can't pretend to understand:
high alerts
and low, like unfathomable pitches
ringing out of range
and burning.

A flood of saline solution
bursts from his trained hand.
Feverish dead cells hurl and sweep,
fluttering like warm children
in the rush of a flushing hydrant.

When they leave I am open
only briefly
and a little less each time.
I keep filling
with lifeless white tissue,
or some unborn child's body
curled up and swollen within my
tiny ear canal,
his dead silence
becoming more
and more pronounced.