At first, I held tight
to the pain,
to each jolt that stabbed,
then ravaged my wasting limbs.

Until I felt nothing
but the bog’s lips smacking
against my skin,
hungry as kisses.

Only the brain
remains, furtive,
holding to the gunnels
of this boat of a body.

Outside, the willows will lean
in clumps,
continue to gossip about flowers
and the weather.

Now, there’s no hope of sleep.
Under cover of this bog,
my numbness digs deep,
tingles the very marrow of my bones.

Deborah H. Doolittle has lived in lots of different places but now calls North Carolina home. She is the author of No Crazy Notions, That Echo, and Floribunda. She is published in The Coe Review, MacGuffin, Pinyon Review, Rattle, RavensPerch, Slant, and in audio format on The Writers Almanac.