Having Been Where You Are by Jacqueline Jules

Right now, I know,
having been where you are,
grief is your largest organ.
Every centimeter
from your scalp to your toes
feels scalded, disfigured for life.

But I hope you’ll be surprised,
as I was, sometime next year
(or the one after that), to see
grief claim a smaller space,
to mimic instead a missing lung—
an inability to inflate your chest
quite as fully as before
or exercise quite as energetically.

Something you don’t notice every minute
of every day. Just in quiet moments
like the shower, when you’re soaping
your torso and touch the rough surface
of an incision that no longer bleeds
but will never quite heal.

 

Jacqueline Jules
Jacqueline Jules is the author of Field Trip to the Museum, a collection of narrative poems in the voice of an 18-year-old girl who travels away from self-destructive behavior to a new understanding of herself. Her poetry has been published in numerous places, including Germ Magazine, Cicada, YARN, and The Poetry Friday Anthologies. She is also the author of several books for young readers. Visit www.jacquelinejules.com.

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