I D K     I S S U E     5


faith thompson


Would you like something for it?

There’s no shame.
I understand, believe me.
We’re not asking for privileges,
but there are things to do,
and just because a body collapses,
doesn't mean the bills stop coming.

I’m forever tipping sugar past my lips,
to cut the bitterness of this or that medicine.
It’s not my fault! The body bends and breaks and
breaks, and we all need a little help!

Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly.
Lavender’s green.
Saline and sharps, dilly dilly,
And Compazine.

See how the moon, dilly dilly,
Sets in the west.
Swallow it down, dilly dilly,
Doctor knows best.

Weave me a chain, dilly dilly,
Made out of grass.
Wait out the pain, dilly dilly,
This too shall pass.

Listen. I have found the secret out.

Pain is an illusion. Sickness is a
choice. Remember that. Pin it
to the inside of your skull. Weakness
is far away; you can’t even feel it.

All is red and pink and warm and moving.

You are moving. Observe your limbs,
your digits. How they move in concert
with your will. Breathe deep, and observe how
muscles shift
           and contract
     and relax
          and spasm—no! Unclench those teeth at once!
Breathe. Take a long breath.  

Breathing, too, is a choice.
Believe in your body, in its workings
and its beauty. From lips to lungs,
pull the air deliberately
and nothing will catch, and nothing will crack,
and nothing will suffocate in the cavity
between the two halves of your rib cage,

if only you have faith.

of the weak

Eyes fail.
Bones wilt.
The stomach turns in
And digests itself.

It takes me in its arms.
It will take us all.


Faith Thompson is a third-year MFA candidate in poetry at Georgia College & State University, where she serves as the managing editor of Arts & Letters. She originally hails from Pittsburgh, PA, and received her bachelor’s degree from Grove City College. Her work has been published in Juxtaprose Magazine.