I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO SPELL SPONDYLOLISTHESIS
by Mike Harper
Your numb legs were just like Granny’s
in her iron lung, and you folded
slowly onto yourself before they
put you back like expensive origami.
This was when I learned what an HMO is,
and what it’s like to see both mom and dad
cry at the same time. This is also why you
will never ride a bike, and always set off
metal detectors. For a split second,
you were just like Frida, mangled in
your fluid paints, your snake vertebrae
tempting the future like Eve
Mike Harper fled to Oregon right after getting a degree in English and Comparative Literature from one of those biggish schools in Southern California. His poetry has been featured in Burningword, Dash Literary Journal, Hibbleton Independent, Lexicon Polaroid, New Verse News, Origami Condom, Verdad, and a handful of zines and chapbooks. He now lives beneath your couch, hoping you won’t look under there too often. You can find more of him or ignore him at openmikeharper.com.
Image credit: Kate Renkes on Flickr