In Relapse Or Recovery

the skin has grown over the shells lodged in the soles
of my feet. all those days limping around the house
shifting my weight to lessen the pain, I don’t feel them

anymore. like the lead broke into my hand in first grade
can be seen in the palm though it no longer hurts
that’s how it is with my instep, now. still I encounter

some queasiness thinking about these objects inside me.
I shake my head a little at Johnny for being so careless
at school, but mostly I enjoy touching my toes to the ground

rolling softly to my heels expecting a spike and experiencing
nothing, I smile. something I haven’t done in a while where this new confidence forces me to contend

maybe today I’ll try walking in the same room as you.