July 29, 2016
she extends her arm
to shake my hand.
my eyes notice an essential tremor.
she clasps her hands over mine
and thanks me for seeing her today.
my hands feel for Bouchard’s nodes.
she speaks in soft voices about her pain
and how it is worse in the morning.
my ears listen to her words.
my ears listen for the hoarseness
of a ninth cranial nerve palsy.
with her trust as my currency
I silently peel away the layers of her story
one by one
and bring them
an invisible undressing
of the concentric lamellae of your histories.
and everything in between.
I am always watching –
always listening -
for the story you aren’t telling
during the one that you are.
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Penny Shutt (Accompanying painting by Sohi Mistry) I hesitate at the doorway to your side-room, ....
(Accompanying painting by Sohi Mistry)
I hesitate at the doorway to your side-room, ....
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