There is no poetry in “Multiple Sclerosis.” It falls flat in the ear,

a siren in place of music and meter. Like the disease itself

in the body, it is a silence loud as a crow’s caw in the solitude

of a warm afternoon.  It comes to this: listening to the way

muscles refuse the project of movement, to sad hands that once

grasped with strength and fervor but now abandon that work for erratic

flailing, to a thought holding still and empty at the cusp of a word,

and all of this flattening into the clinical sound:  fatigue—too early, too thick

in cell and marrow. Inclined as I am toward the ring of music and meter,

I despise “Multiple Sclerosis”: noise between body and poem.


One thought on “Multiple Sclerosis
  1. I agree, unpoetic term. MS isn’t much better. Illnesses need common names, like some flowers and prescription drugs.

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