“Like A Tick”


(May 26, 2019)

like a tick ‘bedded

‘nother shoulder years apart

shrapnel dejavu

*(When I was fourteen, I came home with a half-scraped tick embedded just below my right shoulder blade. I went to the source of all things J – mom and she performed the necessary surgery to remove the blighter, delivering the lecture number ninhundredbillionnineteen about trying not to do everything fortoorwith myself especially when I could not see what was back there even if it itched like all-get-out and the knife blade gave me just a little comfort. And eight years later on another shoulder on another side of this world the karmic tick sucked back and I had a hole near the other blade – not to mention a long sliver of shrapnel tickling both pairs of eyelashes and right through my nose that a different doctor did the same sans-additional flesh-deadener shot my own mother also did not since she practiced mere – in her words – witchery and not medicine and the doctor had taken time off from fixing my glasses while the Naval medical corpsman probed and debrided my face, front shoulder and forearm of yet more shrapnel. Even with whatever it was in those shots on my forearm – none to the face thankyousoverymuch, “doc,” I still got a good dose of The Winces. But you left one nugget of North Vietnam in that forearm, doc, and for years I have been tracking its progress up the outside part of my forearm: can’t recall offhand radius or the other one: illnus? Go, figure. Anyway, what with occasional slivers of shrapnel coming out it appears I have a sympathetic tickhole just about where the main shrapnel hole should reside. Are my somatics going psycho…or further in that regard? Nowadays I use what’s to hand: finger nails, Swiss Army, Ka-Bar or even Randall. More often it’s just the door – frame or door will do, though at extreme unction any upright tree will do, unless if spy tufts of fur further up than I can reach.)

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