As if beneath clear water some creature should emit
a blob of ink, a ruddy flower, a burst of violets,
so do the bruising hues shoot upward from within,
my skin a backstop for a strange pernicious whim.
This testifying bloom, abundant, is not deadly;
but through its keen reminders turns me silly
as pain will always do by its preposterous poke.
Worst days, I lie on couches in a shameless mope
imagining a single blessed day of universal ease.
I carry in the fibers of my muscles princess-peas.
Do bursa burst, I wonder? Can rubbing bones ignite
a conflagration at the joints? Some days I flee the fight.
Indeed, the experts say, I will not die of it; hence,
I am consoled. Let’s leave that certain sentence
for more ruthless ruse my body will dream up.
Not die of it? These vibrant tissues will erupt!
But sh-h-h! What right have I to whine?
These inner bruises are no booking crime.
Better, far, to suffer and look whole
than walk in gnarl or with a twisted soul.
I only hurt. What news is that?
Remember miners’ joints and Steelers’ backs?
Get up, you dope. Cast kind eyes on the world.
Love one good man before the stones are hurled.