Clenching, unclenching her thin white fingers,
she tells me where the electric units sit.
Variable pulses, speed, duration—
dismantle what the body knows of trauma:
descending sheets of paper sheared
into ribbons. Harmless ribbons.
When a treatment ‘succeeds,’ the body goes dark.
As if birds had suddenly flown off a rooftop, birds
you hadn’t noticed, wings threshing the air—
silence then, as if they’d never roosted there.
When I think about my father now, I feel nothing.
No, I’m like a rock with too many notches,
lichen growing silky as a coat across me, I’m the branch
that snapped last night during the wind storm.
Curved today across the trunk of my car—
whole, as if a hand had gently laid it there.