Poem: Easy Medicine

Recently, I have been reading poems at night and recording them. My friend and I send them back and forth. This is a helpful tool to understanding where changes need to be made in the flow of a poem. This particular poem is an old one and was previously published. Most of the poems you read here are published except for the occasional recent work.

My life as a nurse has afforded me the opportunity to see people in every shade of their personality and to imagine myself in their heads. This poem will someday be part of a manuscript I’m putting together called “Little Graveyards” which chronicles small and large deaths I’ve seen in the ER or just in vulnerable people in general.

Photo by Aleathia Drehmer

Easy Medicine

Skin heals inside out.
We watch the wounds close,
pushing up new cells daily.

It’s her own small miracle
self-created again and again
and again and again
with the razor slowly biting
into microcosmic layers.

Each thickness its own
dimension in time. She stands
witness to blood rising
from skin folds, valleys made
of her innate need for destruction.

A river is nourished
with every ripple it pushes
up over the banks, spilling
into the empty valley
of her heart.

It’s easy medicine for her.

Each groove alleviates pain quicker
than any pill, or couch session.
Making her remember,
that despite it all, she’s still alive.

Poem: Charcoal

This one is from the archives and seems a world away. I wrote this in 2007 when I was fascinated by articles in newspapers or magazines that didn’t make the front page. They were interesting notes on the human condition.

Charcoal Dust by Aleathia Drehmer

The prospect of sleep is dangerous 
and unpredictable legs moving, 
his body like a ghost in the night.
Eyes blind and turned,
brain awakened to faces hovering
on the underside of lids.

His control is stripped naked and still, 
nimble feet traverse steep stairs
leading to small dark spaces.
Crouching in the corner,
a filthy cur with face in high fever,
lines streaming from fingertips
stained in thick black charcoal.

In the light, sheets are twisted 
about legs in sailor’s knots,
he finds women’s faces,
arms, legs, breasts, lips etched
into paper with delicate, intimate precision.

The only evidence of his dissonance
witnessed by ebony fingers
and a throbbing skull.