Side Effects

I like to say
that they saved my life, but it’s harder
to talk about what a life
they left to be saved. Really,

I could be worse off: depression
took my appetite and my energy,
left my eyes a darker, less
fertile shade of brown. These days,

all that’s left is a low, quiet
ache in the pit of my stomach
and a certain inability to hold
pipettes steady in lab, although

I am still able to cry. Sometimes,
smearing tears across my cheeks
like blood, I think: this is what
the Israelites must have felt like

after Passover. The twisting
darkness in the gut a reminder
of what could have been lost.


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