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.