Or, The Chiasmus of Marriage

by Kimberly Gladman Jackson

Cloaca of love’s pain, guilt, viscous rage
Desire cramped and aching, churning bile
Resentment filling space that held our child
Intestines washed in sorrow. In these days
Of worse poor sickness, tendons strain–
Torque fibers of connection, tightened till
Striations groove the bones, recording signs
Of all they’ve held and borne. Yet, in the veins
Float molecules of dormant tenderness
Of longing marrow-deep. Branched dendrites reach
Grasp fragments of old laughter. Ventricles
Beat open/shut, uncertain, as I breathe
A prayer for plasmic grace to flood my cells
And lead my body not to part, but cleave.

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