"The Healing" By Christopher Raley

I start on a gurney's white-starched sheets and layhow he says and show what he asks and then his finger through tissue and fat digs to tension and hurt the pressure of healing.

I end to a world tilted off. Every sitting now is how do I sit? Every standing now is how do I stand? But joints can neither find comfort nor return where memory loses the force of habit.

I pray to pollutions like bottled little christs: please dissolve to block the bent structures of body- faith in alchemy through water and acid.

But pain is not the devil's servant. I swallow and yet it scrapes the vision of my proud pleasure. Pain is the finger of rebuke. Pain is the grip of love.

I started on starched-white sheets and waited for the healing to come. The healing came and the pain did not go, both.

I ended to a world tilted off, not able anymore to accommodate its slouch. I stand at a slant, my hip pinches me straight. I sit at a slump, my leg pains me walk. I walk head down passing the hidden in cowering formation of chemical ignoring while numbness spreads from the crimp in my spine. His finger is pointing. I raise my knowledge and pull straight my strength, stabbed out of groveling as if all these were merely flesh and bone.