If the pain that visits my body every day had a name
perhaps it would be easier to talk about it to others,

including the doctor, who nods sympathetically
and draws dogs on his prescription pad to entertain my daughter –

the under two crowd loves a good dog. I will see him again
for years, every once in a while, but the pain visits daily,

it does not ask to be fit into my busy schedule
it finds a way, and I in turn have found a way to smile

with a punch in my gut. To eat food and make conversation
while my stomach, contracts in and out as if I am preparing

to give birth. I have cleaned my house and walked through
The Louvre with a paring knife in my bowels. What to do with this?

The doctor doesn’t say that nothing can be done with words
but with years of inaction, of tests, each as unhelpful as the next.



Caitlin Thomson has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals including: The Adroit Journal, Rust + Moth, Barrow Street Journal, and The Pittsburgh Poetry Review.  You can learn more about her writing at www.caitlinthomson.com.