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Your leg is causing you trouble again,
heavy and numb. You’ll be asleep again
before sundown, and you’ve already
slept through the day.

The whistle subsides, and you wait for me
to prepare, come to your room,
set the teacups carefully.

Someday, in heaven, you insist
apologetically, we won’t have
these bodies, we won’t have brains
and spines for lesions to destroy.

No bodies, no medicine, no useless clatter
of teacups, just God who dissolves
the myelin of all things.



Emily Kingery is the author of Invasives (forthcoming from Finishing Line). She teaches English at Saint Ambrose University and serves on the board of the Midwest Writing Center, a nonprofit supporting writers in the Quad Cities (




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