In the hospital, I become convinced
it's the ugliest word in the language.
Abusive in its honesty, like a boyfriend
telling you up front things will end badly,
that you'll burn photographs and blister
your fingertips with the lighter he'll leave
in your room. The nurses tell me
I'll get used to it. Repetition will obliterate
my held breath and facial contortions,
my inability to answer the simplest of questions.
Where do you live?
I don't know, I don't know.
It's their job to lie to me. I'll arrive
weekly, sister to the newly diabetic,
the girl who flips through magazines,
powerful in her submission, already resigned
to a lifetime of blood. I'll beg
for the tiniest needles available
and the nurse's eyes will roll as she slides
open a drawer labeled butterflies.
I'll want to tell her it wouldn't be so bad
if the nameplate on the door read *butterflies*
A gentler nomenclature, pulse
of blush colors, crepe wings.
I'd be more willing to believe her
when she holds my hand, gazes into my eyes,
and promises that I won't feel a thing.
Theresa Boyar has had poems published in Slow Trains, Rattle, Megaera, Tryst, Lily, and others. Additionally, a personal website,http://www.geocities.com/theresalboyar is now up & running.