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.