Judith Terzi
Finalist

Nostalgia

Like I’m waiting for kismet. Maktoub.
Waiting for a number, a letter––cryptic
for stage, grade. How many nodes
did she twist away? How many, how
many… Tell me to focus on healing.
Friends bring guavas, mini pumpkins,
t-shirts, pens, soup. The house
is a garden: five white orchids, purple
tulips, yellow roses, irises. Red
bromeliad clinging to bark, shape
of a seahorse, air plants cresting on two
heads. Rearrangement happening
in cachepots. Rearrangement of a colon,
color of geranium in a Casbah courtyard.
Animal on hooks in back rooms
of butcher shops where my grandfathers
blessed meat. How did she swing my
transverse meat around to greet my
small intestine, my distal ileum?
I wanted to catch the now-missing
slice as it slipped through her slick
incision above my navel. To feel
the surgeon’s finesse navigate inside me,
caress my organs, then choke the cecum,
the appendix to death. How will the new
partners jibe? How will they groove
with no past in such diminished time?
No memory of all the little madeleines
and Sunday’s flow of hours. Slippery
fingertips straining to hold onto a waltz.

 

 

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