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A Spine Moving by Karen Braucher

A Spine Moving

by Karen Braucher for Dr. Jocelyn Kirnak

published in Caveat Lector

In this poem there will not be

a looming, joking male chiropractor who leans down and cracks my twisted back as I scream. He will not tell me crazy stories about getting

Cuban cigars for JFK as a young marine as he checks the length of my legs. Afterward, I will not float out of his office, completely without pain for two hours, seventeen minutes. There will not be hours. No three o’clock in the morning. No knocking the Ibuprofen to the floor in the dark bathroom. No muscle spasms that make me

shriek, no hypodermics, no Tylenol. No physical therapy.

In this poem, a tall blond Finnish expert, my new Viking woman chiropractor,

will not show me how one hip is higher than the other.

No hip bones will be tapped. No necks whipped and cracked. No suggestion of future X-rays. No sitting down, lying down, or standing up.

There will be nothing but my beautiful skeleton floating in a pool, all the discs and vertebrae moving perfectly. Nothing but

a spine moving in an undulating dance,

constant and graceful.

Nothing but a skeleton, my skeleton: a fluid X-ray of an Alvin Ailey dancer whirls,

arches, jumps, tumbles—a spine moving perfectly to shining choreography.



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