A POEM: An Arthritic Love Affair

Pain makes the world real.

Things like misspelt last names

And wrong receipts, pale,

like a shocked at nudity face, because who knew

you could feel this much.

It’s like if you could see your nerve endings they would pulse

Like quickening lovers hearts because there is a world out there

Of cute student boys who talk, awkwardly, about air vent systems and turn

their faces towards you with crinkles in their smiles.

These papered grins speak of textbook evenings and numbered nights,

Countdowns (you, hope) to a date on a Friday 13th because

That means cheap pizza from a place called Hell and dancing

In a black silk dress at a club with roses festooning the clapboard sign because

it’s rock star night and what is metal without romance?


But you only have a smile and a fading memory of a face.

So your nerves are raw

more like the sparklers that burn-to-blacken kids fingers

Close to the quick.


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