Referred Pain

Season of hot-and-cold: winter months
leach into April: steely fog, honey locusts
shivering. Then yellow heat returns.

It’s confusing: the past confuses things.
And distance, the ache I feel if you're away.
The way the shoulder I need to ice—
my crimped rotator cuff—causes burning
in my biceps, six inches down:
where the heart grips in a cardiac event.

What isn't a cardiac event?
Someone refers to self-deception in love:
I think of you: I meant me. Harm from how
we're built, intimately tied. Invisible threads.
Nerves, streaking down the arm.


First published in Terminus   Copyright © Beverly Burch


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