Poem: Chew the Root

The fibrous ginger root between my teeth

And the faintly acidic juice beneath my tongue

Feels something like effective hope.

My body cries out in pain and nothing works-

No pills, no restless sleep, no ecstatic escapism.

So I chew the root, carefully, quietly, alone.

For this pain is mine and mine alone.

I may not be able to voice it, but no one can.

No one can feel the pain for me and speak it.

My back bows, and my lips poise to utter a not-word.

There are no words for this- just sound clusters.

But the only sound is the crushing of fibrous root

Between jaws clenched and the force of unvoiced pain.

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