Reply To: Week 4 Posts – December 12th

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Victoria Ruiz

This feels done

This has been edited per feedback. Thanks so much y’all for the feedback. Why yes, I’m not from TX. In appreciation, Victoria

Dull Pain and Separate Hoaxes

Today I woke to four alarms. Too stiff
for the drive into the city
tale of two buildings and separate
hoaxes of elevator banks. I am nearly late. On the fourth floor,
a nurse comes hurried and calling my name. I am full
of age and weary. Full of years

in a punk-haired body taken
for a fool as I dismiss politely what she lacks
in softness at the bedside. I’ve made a match
with her in my mind. I spread over

butcher cloth draped on blue vinyl.
The gel is warm on my too-empty bladder.
A doppler draws a map of where my babies once
lived as brown spots multiply

like rabbits on my arms. I am holding on

so s l o w l y too

the dim lit wall of concrete
dressed with a sink
plunges into the wand
inducer of come what may
of the symptoms.

I am at the will of what I’ve eaten. At the will
of what free radicals will do at best. My doctor says
to lose the weight of short waisted
genes. I am the child

and she is the book. I am trying to read
her expressions through the feedback
which is pulsing
in place like the whooshing of one

Two weeks before the towers fell,
we buried our third son in Autumn as soles
snapped the skeletons of leaves underfoot
where snakes beget the news of my fear
of being mistaken for someone
younger or my mother. Pearls

etched with grief’s fingertips

in an empty room on a maternity ward as other
mothers are bathing babies. I am far
too old for crying aloud the nurse, has
a grandchild and I’ve willed myself to
loneliness. I’ve willed myself to the separate
sacs of now grown men. I am a mother
in a crowd comforting my ablated
womb as a needle pulls blood

decimaled and small enough to mole
it’s way through
the hardest yet
of years.