Put to Shame by Jenna Le

Put to Shame

How funny that the bedroom it hurts least
to write about’s the one in which the beast
that is my body felt the greatest pain:
the room where nurses came time and again
to stick my green-blotched upper arms with needles
whose sting would last whole minutes while in fetal
posture I’d cringe away, my eyes squinched shut,
the room where intravenous lines would jut
into my elbow creases like insistent
inquisitors on orders from some distant
nefarious lord to torture me, to not
allow my arms to bend, to undercut
my wish to lie face down…. It’d hurt still more
to write about that other, clothes-strewn floor.

by Jenna Le

Editor’s Note: A single emotionally excruciating sentence spans thirteen lines of this sonnet, interrupted only by the shocking pivot of the volta into the reader’s skin.

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