The Trick

Roxanna Bennett

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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)