Honeycombing, the doctor says,
and for an instant, I let myself
rest in what I love about that word,
sticky textured golden noun turned verb.
But the world he’s leading us through
on the nightscape CT scan is inside you,
the two crucial islands, your lungs.
This, he tells us, is healthy tissue,
dark sky barely flecked with stars.
And this, tapping the line
of a lacy shore, scars.
I remember the first time
I made out our boy’s profile
on a cloudy screen like this,
tiny nub of thumb between
what would become his lips.
Back then, I saw myself
as standing on a precipice,
knowing that when I dropped
I would fall toward life.
But this, you and I
under the buzzing glare
of such harsh light,
it’s life too, isn’t it? I’m asking
this of both of us. Stay.
Notice the heat in our held hands.
Ona Gritz’s new collection of essays, Present Imperfect, is out now from Poets Wear Prada. She is also the author of Geode, a Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award finalist, and On the Whole: a Story of Mothering and Disability. Ona’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, River Teeth, The Bellevue Literary Review, Catamaran Literary Reader, and previously in One Art. Recent honors include two Notable mentions in Best American Essays, a Best Life Story in Salon, and a winning entry in The Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2020 project.