today’s word: chilblain

chilblain: inflammation, swelling or ulceration, usually of the fingers or toes, seen primarily in people with circulatory or connective tissue disorders; differentiated from frostbite, which is seen with extreme cold exposure. Usually called chilblains, also known as pernio or perniosis. 

“After a long battle”

Days shrink with darkness and chilblain rain.
We slide on black ice, car slams into car,

as if love’s gone mad. We have sung, beating
out rhythm on chest and thighs, but such words

are vain. And now, and now, I wonder how I will die.
I don’t mind the thought. Why listen to imitations

of hope on the radio? I’m stuck inside a corpse
inside a situation inside an accident.

I look for crevices where I can hide without brushing
against this bruise. I wait with good cheer to make

my escape. There are no more tests to take. The past
has swallowed all futures. In my story,

I will not be losing a long battle to cancer.
You will not hear these words spoken at my grave.

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