Elisabeth Frost


A Number


After her second episode of sudden numbness, they conclude there’s no knowing. Trouble along the myelin sheath. Axons, dendrites too, at a halt. Node to node, next to nothing. None of them, she thinks, has a clue what might remain of normal feeling. And names, where will they reside? She numbers herself among many a mere one, writes it off, until in a brilliant trick, the old troubles unpack themselves—dried leaves, worn-down coins, junk mail spilling from the box. Gaps between Schwann cells. She wishes for an act of will, wishes will existed, would pay a lot to wish herself away. Take comfort in statistics. But when they say down hill, which hill do they mean? The curve—is it normalized? How long is its tail?

© 2008 Electronic Poetry Review