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Lauren WB Vermette


My mother’s former-nurse eyes narrow

at the sight of my father’s open incision

stuffed with pads of silver nitrate,

its drainage tube snaking down

to the floor, bulb half filled

with rust-brown liquid.

Skin knits from the inside out,

explains the surgeon, it is risky

to close what needs to fill in

on its own. I think about the slit

I sliced into my left bicep after he

caught me sneaking my sister

a 6-pack for her after-prom party.

The pale, puckered strip left behind.

How we stopped making music

together when I started smoking

cigarettes. How he held off his pain

meds post-surgery to be clear-headed

enough so that he could stand

with the aid of a walker to hug me.

How our skin knows how to pull itself

together: to adhere crookedly, but whole.

Lauren WB Vermette’s work has appeared in Edge, Good Fat Zine, Lunation: An Anthology of Women Poets, and Rat’s Ass Review. Her first collection of poetry, And The Form Falls Away (2018), was published by Senile Monk Press.

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