- What’s Wrong
A cyst on the tip of an ovary. A cramp
in the base of the skull. Lightning stitching into
the metal lid of a hand-dug well. Floods, of course,
and blizzards, too. Lost on Lake Superior
in a leaky canoe without a paddle.
Or an orange peel
and an apple’s core shoved down your throat. An egg
in Cool Hand Luke’s belly. A snake b-lining
burnt and crackling grass. A crack in the concrete, [End Page 156]
crack in the glass, crack in the shield of a brave and virtuous warrior.
Or the tear on his cheek. (He shouldn’t be crying.)
Or my friend’s boyfriend kicked into rehab for a habit
he said he’d been quitting, but didn’t, or couldn’t, or
Who Cares. He’s gone.
An electric guitar, mother’s ring, and Circuit City stereo
pawned. Or the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Green.
The easy way to categorize terror. Or the screening agent that morning in Boston
in September who scanned the x-ray image and made (watch her) an error. [End Page 157]
Claire Skinner recently graduated from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. She is currently a Zell Fellow in poetry at the University of Michigan. A few poems of hers are forthcoming in NewBorder and Crab Creek Review.