When he could no longer
remember ever
not hurting all over
when his tea tasted
like toilet paper
his oatmeal like wet socks
and when getting up out of bed
was like pushing a wheelbarrow
full of rocks up a hill of loose shale
he thought of all the things he could
no longer do or couldn’t face
doing and the pain
always the pain

Until the day he remembered
that old lamp he’d meant to re-wire
–its base a sea-blue vase
his mother made years back
on her potter’s wheel
Somehow got himself
up and dressed, somehow made it
to Tru-Value to buy the cord,
a new socket and plug
took the lamp apart
on the kitchen table
threw the dusty old bulb
frayed wiring and rusted
switch into the trash–
they made a satisfying
thud and crunch.

Setting the lamp
on his desk he
switched it on and
the cells everywhere
in his body begin
to stir and lighten
one by one willing
once more to take up
their hidden essential dance.

-For Sam