by Ed Davis
Stressed-out refugee from civilization,
I arrived at his office a nutcase
of fidgety twitches and drum-taut muscles.
After probing my shoulders with
a masseur’s sure hands, he shaped me
lying on my side, into a fetal donut,
and began his healing that depends not
on cutting or drugs but just touch.
Molding my limbs into loose branches
he grasped me with tentacle arms,
his voice a soothing growl.
Seizing my splayed arms, he strode
in closer and jerked with all he had.
Bones cracked and ground into places
from where they’d slipped, sagged
or been wrenched by the life
I too often wear like a noose.
“Just relax,” he crooned, and I did,
his paunch against my upper chest.
When he locked his arms around my head,
I wondered: will he break my neck?
Then with a gnashing, my neck popped,
and, freed, my soul fled its bone-cage coop.
As I righted myself, he grinned, said I’d
feel inexplicably euphoric for a few days.
Sore but looser for our brief tryst,
I strolled out into May sunshine,
reeking of my D.O.’s sweat and cologne,
feeling like one just well-loved.
(From the chapbook Healing Arts,
Pudding House, 2005.)