by Dorothea Tanning1
Ever imagining the dire, the sudden
the menace with no thought of the
gradual, the lingering itch of whatever.
That was my sister.
A stomach ache had to be diagnosed.
“Oh, come on, it’s no big deal.”
“How do you know? You aren’t me.”
At the doctor’s office she waited.
He reached for his stethoscope,
held it to her back and put it away
in his pocket. Then, leaning across
his desk, he asked importantly,
“How long have you been eating your hair?”
She couldn’t answer.
After surgery they came into the recovery
room where she had just wakened.
“You are a lucky lady. We found nothing.”
She had an incision and several visitors.
Besides, she was so lucky (incisions heal)
and not a little disgusted.
“Me, eating my hair.”
Dorothea Tanning, Coming to That (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2011). ↩