My tiny masseuse
Walks her practiced, powerful fingers
To find the knotted, bundled muscles in my neck
These angled cords and rods
Taut like bow against arrow
circle my head, ears, tipping my semicircular canals
Keep me from finding my sea legs
When try I to stand
She takes them as her mission
Finding fiery sore, angry places
where I didn’t know
I had places
She presses til my ears roar, rush, whistle.
Til my eyes well up with tears
Til I cry out for my mommy.
She hears no pleas for mercy
Only her fingers hear in her hunt
for errant myalgia.
My long irritated nerves
Creak under her ministrations
She releases the vile toxic acids
I have held there
Hunched over decades of computers.
Weighted by spreadsheets
Spread thin by deadlines and demands.
While I wonder why.
I pay for this by the hour
I know that I will pay for several days
Sleeping in hot baths
Surrounded by hot rice packs.
For days afterwards, I will find where
Her fingers traced a lineage of resentment
I will rework raw points with tennis balls
Round wooden pegs
until slowly released
rods and cones will allow me to turn my head from side to side
Without stagger or stumble.
Finally choleric bundles spun away
I realize as I text with Charlene and Rachel.
I do the same in my lone afternoons
And in my nightmares
I press hard against the knots of my failed history
In the night I grit my teeth
Until I crack the gold.Caps.
Wear through diamond drilled amalgams.
My mynd must relive every foolish blunder
The stupid and the unkind
The speaking before engaging the cortex
Cruelties both descending and ascending
Perhaps a few more sessions
Or a hundred more texts
gritty grains of angry sand
Will slide away
I will sleep without clenched jaws
Without angry knots at the base of my brain
And the dizzy sky
Will be just that
A blue canvas
my arms twirling me about
in winter’s ceaseless snow
Spinning spinning spinning