Once, when I jumped off the bed
At sixteen, full-force fist at my first love.
Once, in Germany, my seventeen year-old
Shoulder slipped out of its hard new syllables.
Once, in Spain, in a tiny tent heated by two
Slick bodies. (My arm numb for seven days straight.)
Once, in my father’s car, almost driving,
The seatbelt’s reach wrenched it raw.
In Albuquerque, when every part of me
Was unhinged like a worn-out cotton wood,
At a pool table, in a firefly-filled clasp,
Putting on a coat, putting on an attitude.
My shoulder doesn’t want me, or rather
My humerus doesn’t want my scapula.
But I want my shoulder, just how it is,
It’s not broken. Funny, what it does is, it aches.
It wants to go backward, a targeted tug
On one side, a leashed-beast, pulling for release.
The first time it happened, I was twelve
Heard it snap in the middle of a friend’s pool.
I swam one-armed to the lip, quietly cried.
Then, I shook, and it clicked in, my trick.
I never told anyone, cold all day in the sun,
Tiger towel, squeezing my left hand for feeling.
It felt good, as if finally I had my own secret,
A crack in my being, a shiver I could name.