Let me be a ''poet of cripples" not
a patient etherized upon a table,
not a brain floating within a body.
In a moment I must be a body
in the place incision produces in a body,
previously intact. Inert, poor body,
inarticulate. Pain flees from the word "pain."
Between meaning and the unmeaningable
is the trick of thinking I can fix what I can name.
Inertia insists on comfortable
contraries, less on chastened patients.
Let me be any other word, any other body:
stone, swan, sycamore. Perform patience
full time; retirement a normate luxury
I will not be afforded. My need to mean
alien to the pain, yet I remain, unseen.
Roxanna Bennett, "The Trick" from Unmeaningable. Copyright © by Roxanna Bennett. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Source: Unmeaningable (Gordon Hill Press, 2019)