We were all searching for something
you’d enjoy, my mother says of the opioid void
I’d become, and I could hardly walk,
but it was my birthday.
My mother drove us
to a city on the water. She loved
her almost-dead daughter
and she wanted
to see me try to smile.
She stood to the salon’s side,
held my cane while a lady
lifted scissors and made me
almost recognizable.
On the phone now, we both try
to recall the weather, that afternoon
trauma-dimmed at its edges,
the salon receptionist who must’ve had
no idea what a miracle was,
how much devastation
it cost us, why God had bothered
to bring me back to my mother,
who paid for the cut, then
helped me stand outside by a wall
made entirely of leaves
so I could pose for a picture
and years later, see my life
handed back to me. We remember
the cobblestone street, the sounds
of viable ships ill at ease
mere feet from where she ordered me
a coffee, nervous about whether
I’d ever feel anything again.
Look at my heartbeat
and its consequence,
that cup warm on my palm,
the street so close to the ocean,
every brick got drenched.