Touch: The Journal of Healing



Copyright © 2013

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.


    by Ed Bennett

She is having a bad day.

The pain bears down on shoulders and hips

with vise teeth closing relentlessly

like a medieval rack in

the hands of a determined gaoler.


She says nothing, listening to a love song,

that Puccini aria we both admire,

her mind dredging for days spent

in the quiet cloister of our embrace,

days of touch without pain.


Days taken, for the most part,

by the clench of rheumatoid arthritis

dulled by oxycodone.

Days of silence, save for the aria, filling

the room with the mercy of a soft note.


Days of sun lit afternoons

when I took her hard in my embrace,

swinging her until her feet left the floor,

her head thrown back in laughter,

loving me in the tactile way of immortal youth.


Now, I hold her hand gingerly,

aware of her wince to hide the pain

hoping for the blessing of

a day’s remission from the hell

of angry joints and synovial rebellion.


She wonders aloud for my wellbeing,

a glancing mention of decreased intimacy,

as if my humanity was based in maleness

or my love would founder

on a sea of self denial.


I’ll let Puccini set this mood,

join her on the couch,

showing that love doesn’t die – it changes

to answer the question of where we journey

as the twilight darkens, the shadows fall.

© 2013  Ed Bennett

Ed Bennett is a poet and critic living in Las Vegas, NV. His works have appeared in The Externalist, Touch: The Journal of Healing, The Lavender Review, Quill and Parchment and Lilipo. He is a staff editor for Quill and Parchment Magazine, the recipient of a Pushcart Nomination and the author of “A Transit of Venus”.