Poetica Magazine

Poetica Magazine


A female hummingbird dressed in emerald spangles
hovers by the feeder, beak as sharp

as the needle the nurse uses to draw blood,
it punctures sweet water, she, a thin vein,

my arm helpless on white sheets. Tethered
to tubes and bed, I wish for birds’ hollow bones,

a honeybee’s gossamer wings. So much crammed
into this small room; exhaustion gives rise

to the heart monitor’s staccato notes, its melody of beeps,
true heartbeat, the thrum of fear.

A hummingbird’s bill is slightly curved, like my spine.
The surgeon traced scoliosis on the MRI, showed

where vertebrae squeezed nerves like a too-eager lover.
He stabilizes, reroutes, frees nerves to shoot electrical impulses into my leg.

Later, I lie in bed, wait to be unloosed from machines
intimately connected to my body, listen to a meditation—visualize light.

In the beginning, God separated light from dark, created day and night.
I am created in God’s image, am commanded to thank God each morning

for returning my soul to me, for this body with its intricacies,
its myriad connections of blood and breath.

Where is the spark of God in my body? Perhaps in the sharp pains
that travel along my legs, a brightness, an awareness

of frailty and the body’s infinite small blessings. When the sun shines
on the hummingbird, its jeweled feathers flash like lightning.