Etiology of Wound in the Wound


Let the wound caused by the serpent be cured by the serpent – Gloria Anzaldúa


I lose my fingers inside my solar plexus :: Worm
too deep, too poking, to probe why—why the ache

in the night, ache in midday, ache ache ache :: the fist
in clench, twisting :: In front of my aorta, ganglia

bundles & nerves radiating :: emotion harbor—A sense
of knowing, I whisper :: Don’t forget joy & selfconfidence, you

murmur back sucking on my knuckle bones :: the fist
expands, the fist contracts :: Why do you hide? I consider

spinal nerves connecting organs to my brain :: sympathetic
nervous system :: the fist uncoils :: Not a fist, you say,

preparation, making room to breathe in the discomfort of you :: you
understand your work :: blood flow increases to muscles

decreases to skin :: heart rate rockets :: Stress is a symptom
inside a symptom, your tone frustrates me :: I am tired

of riddles you plant :: You act as if I know knowing :: you
coil tight my ache aches :: I miss my thumbs, my radiocarpal

joints hinge in wind :: You do, you do—stress you, your own
stimuli, you coil tighter, I harp organs—instrument you in play 

you think you so delicate, you add pressure :: Aren’t I? I choke &
the fist releases me to my own breath, expanse of ribcage,

chest in heaves :: I cough & each phalange eases back
out of my abdomen :: Never never never, you treble, a choir

multivoicing out :: vault in the flesh found :: to preach
to kidneys to liver to stomach to adrenal glands :: I am

 serpent born :: Was that voice mine or yours? :: in you, of you
& I stare at the semicircle of bones littering the ground.

Felicia Zamora is the author of six books of poetry, including I Always Carry My Bones, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize. She is an assistant professor of poetry at the University of Cincinnati.

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