by Mary Alyson Lynch

Mary Alyson Lynch

Mary Alyson Lynch

Your health is everything.

I woke up one morning and had nothing.

 

The sun pried my eyes open,

I peered down at my lilac-painted toes,

ran my fingers through thick, soft wheat,

pulled the stubbly hollow of my arm to my nose,

sucked in the scent of night sweat and chemicals,

 

felt a twinge in my elbow,

tried to rub discomfort away.

 

Wiggled my lilac petals,

listened as they crackled, burnt embers

shooting from last night’s campfire;

massaged my burning thighs,

kneaded the sharp pain of a permanent knife wound in my forearm,

breathed in deep and slow, trying to stop

the rapid beat of my heart,

 

pleaded to my entire being: Please, please. Not today.

 

I ask politely, please!

Feet, carry me.

Arms, carry sh*t.

Brain, WORK!

Heart, BEAT!

Eyes, SEE!

 

Does your mortality make you uncomfortable?

 

Once upon a time,

I’d divert my eyes when a graying man hoisted

himself into his car. I’d walk swiftly past

a wrinkling woman and her cane,

stare grudgingly behind an ancient couple squinting

to see the menu board.

 

Now I stand, or more often than not, sit,

with my comrades. I’m not there,

as I nod in understanding

at the others, match their gaited walk,

laugh at others’ fear,

smile slightly at our shared misery.

 

Your health is everything.

Maybe you’ll lose it bit by bit,

or all at once,

but your morning will come.

 

I woke up at high noon, the sun in my eyes.

 

A life prepared for the beauty of my sunset.

Without fear?

Without loathing?

Without anger?

I’ll take my nothingness, thank you.