pain [peyn] : noun
A gloved hand reaching through an incision from the point where her ribcage meets to the point where her pubic bones join, thick metal spades held by gloved hands pull with all their might to open her as wide as she’ll go and the soft pinkness of her inside oozing out, another gloved hand reaching in to rummage around, shifting sauce-covered spaghetti tubes that want to spill,
out onto blue sheets of their own accord, a masked face peering into places where both shouldn’t be. A needle, piercing through skin with its fine hollowed point, a needle sucking thick, dark red liquid through itself and into another part of itself that’s stronger, more capable of surviving, a needle that gives the satisfaction needed when a clear glass tube fills and fills
with enough blackening hope for them to see under a microscope, a needle taking everything you have in this world to fill a rubber-top tube almost full. A bag, hung on the side of a bed with its clear plastic panel facing you and marked with small blue dashes stacked on top of each other, a bag that fills more slowly than it should with weakening, amber liquid, a bag with a clear
plastic tube attached and disappearing under the overhang of white waffle sheets where a friend smiles just enough to hide a few missing teeth as she describes what was served for breakfast that morning. A man, dressed in a dark navy suit, a tall, handsome man with a white jacket holding something in his hand, a man with patent leather shoes who walks in the room as four eyes turn
to watch his every move, a man who’s chosen to hold big, empty baskets on his shoulders and dangle iron weights from his lips, a future you know the moment you look at his face. Her eyes disappearing into soft wrinkles, her eyes pinching at their corners, her eyes watching you and you watching her eyes as her trembling, pine-knot fingers wrap around each other
and never let go.
Natasha Deonarain lives part-time between Arizona and Colorado. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Crack the Spine, Door Is Ajar, Juked, NELLE, Rigorous, Packingtown Review, Thin Air Magazine, Dime Show Review, Prometheus Dreaming and Canyon Voices Literary Magazine.