Maieutics

by DBLevin

A bump has risen on my finger.
It is much like a pain-button
in that I can press it on anything
and then I experience pain.
It’s becoming pink and tough,
I’m afraid my pain will be permanent
with a button to touch
which heralds it in. Pain!
I wasn’t sure you would come!
I don’t know where the door is–
so it must be left open
in case anyone comes to visit.
There are many doors,
all just the right shape,
for things you see, all the tastes,
smells you expect and smells you don’t,
degrees and types of hot and cold,
and all the sizes of pain —
but this one sensation has risen
like a bubble to the surface
of boiling water, and formed a button.
I worry that soon
everything will boil out of me
and I will be covered in little buttons,
so that when I touch —
or accidentally bump into things,
I will experience
now headache,
now heartache,
now soreness,
now the color white,
now the shapes of a horse,
now the sense of space,
now the smell of air,
now wetness, now warmth.
One button is touched — I feel Being Born;
Another — Death.

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