Much like the figure in the poem below, I sport a ganglion cyst on my wrist. I can only hope, though, that it doesn’t have the same origin…



By Joe Nazare


Google does little
To soothe his concerns.
“Ganglion” hardly captures
This sudden, inexplicable marble
Pressing from his own flesh like some macabre carpal tumor.

The strange growth
Has the hue of bruised fruit,
Sprouts higher with every hour,
Shoots internal tendrils of dull ache
That scale his brachium and entangle in the roots of his teeth.

His instinct is
To have it out of him.
Excision is all: he seizes his
Keenest piece of kitchen cutlery,
Swallows a half bottle of Jack Daniels as ad hoc anesthetic.

But the surgery is
Promptly preempted when
The butcher knife turns tuning fork,
Striking a vibrant and agonizing chord
The instant the blade-edge even grazes the distended skin.

Woundedly, he
Cradles the affronted
Appendage, which takes on
Mind of its own, sends him staggering
Out of his doublewide and into the desolate New Mexican night.

The insistent cyst
Then inflates, incandesces;
His traitorous arm stiffens, strains
Straight overhead in Lady Liberty mimicry.
Feeling his heels lifting, he thinks perhaps the Rapture’s at hand.

He revises this thesis
When he sees the skies slice open,
Birthing the awful and unearthly thing
That wings itself through the heavens,
A metallic pterodactyl homing in on him.
Himself as
A beacon,
He realizes
This isn’t
But rather
A reaping.

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