Bone Graft
by Joan Mazza


For now, I’m in a wheelchair, slowly
adding weight when I stand at my walker
on my fractured tibial plateau. Recovery

is a steep and rocky climb. Made from a paste
of sterilized bone, graft replaces what’s crushed,
taken from a cadaver, to bind with mine.

No donor details, though I’ll tell what I know—
he was young, tri-athlete dead instantly
in a freeway crash, instructions for organs

on his driver’s license. Rock climber,
solitary hiker, he owned three kayaks,
camped anywhere, dove The Great Barrier Reef.

My sleep is broken, but in dreams
I’m on my feet without pain, full range
of motion, and he’s running at my side.

He will be inside me always, aroused
and whispering, Keep going. You can make it!
Attentive lover, bound by bone and vows.






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