Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

for Jan

In the container of arugula,

past its sell-by date,

I pick through

the serrated leaves,

toss out the yellow pieces,

the slimy green bits

In the container of your abdomen

people in green scrubs

pick through your sad intestines

(long past the sell-by date)

all stuck together,

threatening rot.

Chop out the bad bits,

sew the good bits back together.

It’s easy with the arugula,

just toss it in

with some romaine (chopped)

a few cherry tomatoes

maybe some sunflower seeds

or leftover green peas.

The salad is ready

no time at all.

For you, though,

your skin tubes and tunnels must be reimagined,


cleared of obstruction

for your digestion to proceed

according to precedent

for time to heal

for salad

to pass safely through.

The Karakesh Chronicles

Available from

and – for caregivers

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