• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 12

The Body, Eroded

The woman with bad knees has lost her spark.
The bones of her left hip are grinding one another
to history and need to be traded for well-tooled
and polished parts. The woman once worked
in a surgical suite and has seen by glimpse
and gander every phase of hip replacement.
The tools – delicate and incomprehensible, or
prehistoric and direct – might belong to a plumber,
or carpenter; or a boy building a clubhouse
out of salvaged nails and lumber from a half-
dozen neighborhood building sites. The woman's
orthopedic surgeon would have been that sort.
The kind of boy who speaks in mandates. Hold
this. Go get that. Get out of my clubhouse. Lose
thirty pounds, then we'll talk about surgery.
Uncomfortable as the princess on the pea,
the woman shifts position in her recliner.
On the kitchen counter, not that far away,
a broken peanut butter cookie calls.