in the eye of god, i am a mote floating past a mussel’s mouth. i have endless memories, cold as slack water, trapped somewhere circuitous. i was born two hours and fourteen minutes before sunrise and found in the hospital’s windows a new and exact shade of yellow: you, goldenrod or goldfields or goldfinch—flightless and leaf-cupped—lomatium or tarweed or 8mg of ondansetron hydrochloride. bird, sleeping in the winterberry bush, made as if a smooth stone animated, jealous with texture, or dead and ovate in the dust. when i came there was no weeping. well, that’s not entirely true: i have been weeping ever since, tapped as a maple or sleeping under a thousand bright white lights. lost an entire season to my sickness no one sees. you, deep-throating the tests and scales of american medicine, dragging doses toward my moist mouth and heaving my head into the MRI to be misread. big deal, that i'm in pain. take the pill and lie down, they said. my body is a side effect, looming.
-- Clair Dunlap grew up just outside Seattle, Washington. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Hopper, Split Rock Review, Glass, Peach Mag, and more. She currently lives in the Midwest.