Nikki Donadio

Grief nests between my ribs     rests its
weight against pleura and cartilage, breath
drags like a rope soaked in mud.

Grief nests between my ribs     I feel something
there, I say to the doctor.     She
touches, can’t feel what I feel              but
in my voice she sees     the shape of it.

We chase it with bloodwork chase it with x-rays
chase it with goo-covered wands.       Sonograms
expose my insides, salt and pepper,     search the
costals where loneliness itches.

Grief nests there and hides     hides under a curtain
of sinew        hides in the shadow of heartbeat
hides in the lymphatic knotwork              substernum
hides where you can’t take hold,    can’t

yank it out.        Grief nests in my ribs, left-sided,
sinistra, not yielding to                 coffee-stained minutes or
bookmarks or           laughter born on bedsheets.
Grief nests and waits           waits

Nikki Donadio is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers and holds an MA in Creative Writing. Her work has appeared in Gertrude, Yes Poetry, Jellyfish Review, and others.

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