What was I thinking! when I agreed to exchange
An hour of my life to rearrange
Some aching muscles calcified with stress,
And tendons cemented and turning into stone?
But the bargain concluded, I gave this unholy mess
Over to you, weary down to the bone.
Easy to locate the obvious, injured spaces
Was it not? You understand those places.
Your fingers tested the knots and ligaments
And probed the muscles kinked with cramp and strain-
But hitting those most secret of filaments
Was inexcusable. Lightning in the brain.
What was I thinking? I hate this messing about
With my body. (I have to keep people out
Having felt what it feels like feeling people abuse
The fire inside. I know they need to get warm –
I wish they could – but the fire in these tissues
Is no safe harbor from any storm.)
Afterward, it hit me like a stone:
For a time my body was yours, down to the bone,
And it betrayed me. It let you in and told
You everything, didn’t it, like a child caught in a lie?
Well, so what? One gets reckless, getting old.
And yet, there’s one regret (I, too, am shy):
How I so quickly told you the painful part
Is in the muscles up against my heart.