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you would never believe how big you can be
until your bellybutton turns inside out.
you would never believe how much pain you can take
(your mission, should you decide to accept it)
until you accept it, knowing
the pain train was coming,
ready to deliver a full body-blow
that you’d forget it like nothing,
all that stretching and bursting a shadow
a breeze on a mountain you left below
like the chat you made with the guy who
tattooed “always” on your tender skin
or the reason you put it there.

you would never believe how much you can figure out
curled up on a towel in the dark,
a hard plastic piece in somebody’s endgame,
you become your own mother
when you figure out the gore will stop when it’s ready
and not a minute before
like it does sometimes
so sweat it out, sister,
allow yourself a whimper, walk the floor
you ain’t dying though it feels like you’re birthing the whole damned world

you would never believe that the body can shut off the faucet
a freaking morning miracle that you can breathe pain-free now
the clot-o-rama paused
courtesy of healthy organs the doctor said he would never remove
because you are fifty and want a reprieve
but you get what you get and you don’t get upset because
there are one hundred more birthdays waiting to burst through
before this is done.