My aunt's yellowing fingernail traces
her nervous smile, and this is when
I'm wondering whether I'll live
to see next year. Trust her to drop
this into casual conversation––
the growing fetus, her desperate
youth––then leave the moment
to hang like a dislocated limb.
In sixth grade gym, Tony Bower's arm
twisted, vine-like away from his body.
We were told not to look, though
all of us did as the teacher rested
a foot on his chest, told Tony,
told us all, he would count to three.
He pulled on two. Her son walks in,
and though he tells her, tells us,
don't be melodramatic, I hear
a limb being steadied, grasped,
wrenched back into place.