Massage Tales

Sweetness in the Belly

I started this blog because so many lovely and amazing things happened with my clients that I found myself just wanting to tell stories whenever I got together with friends.  And also because some of those things were very emotional, and writing has always been a place where I could untangle emotional things.  I had a couple of new client experiences recently that are making me glad I started this blog.

This one came out in the form of my first writing love, poetry:

I kneel at her side, my two hands cradling her one,
catch sight of the book on her nightstand —
Sweetness in the Belly —
a bookmark tucked about 100 pages in.
Pages left unread that her eyes will never see.
I’ve seen skin like this before.  
Papery, tinged with yellow, fading bruises in a path from foot to head.
I’ve seen eyes like this before.
Sunken back into dark sockets, withdrawn and piercing in their largeness,
no eyelashes soften the steady gaze.
Animals know.  
The dog curled at her head, still as breath,
looks up and right at me.  
He dips his head, raises it, settles back to sleep —
This is good.  What I am doing is good.  
Her almost-adult daughter plays with attitudes.
Looks over my head —“Does the massage therapist know not to go in there yet?”  
Avoids eye contact, moves like she’s wearing a chain maille helmet.  
Later I hear her voice, muffled, to her father:
“I can’t do this.  I can’t put up with this any more.”
Her husband rides up in the elevator with me.  
“She’s not exactly, you know, compos mentis right now.”
He takes another asthmatic breath.
“We are nearing the end of the road, you see.”  

Yes.  I do.  

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