Two days later, the surgery is already a moon landing,
and I’m its plowed landscape of proof.
In the bathroom mirror, my belly’s all unwavering
flags and stitched tracks on an aching,
windless set. The Betadine sticks – a mustard slick –
for a week, and I don’t know what to do
with the photos: befores and afters, they call them,
six shots of cuts like new mouths to fix a flaw
I couldn’t feel until I woke up, the doctor’s light
tread still impressed on my gut. I hide and dig them
out later, for days, those flimsy confirmations
that what’s real may as well not be, except that it is.
Elizabeth Langemak lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she is an Associate Professor, and Director of Graduate Studies in English at La Salle University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Day One, Shenandoah, Pleiades, The Colorado Review, Literary Imagination, Subtropics, The Beloit Poetry Journal, and elsewhere.