Venus Goes Retrograde

It never quite goes back to the way it was.

What was once healthy and taut has been pulled
and stretched and ripped, pushing the limits
of what nature’s elasticity was intended to contain.

Life-giving veins are overrun with toxins,
circulating bile and sludge in this river of blood.
Scrambling hands hold fatty piles of neglected flesh
as they droop and dip in their chaotic imbalance.

There’s nothing the latest fad plan can do to fix
the acute symptoms that have been ignored.
There’s nothing modern medicine can do to fix
malignant growth left too long to its own devices.

Surgically, most things can be repaired or altered
to appear as they once were, but to fool a heart
that knew every crease, crevice and flaw?
To restore years of neglect as if it never happened
is an impossibility within a sea of improbabilities.

Yet there you stand, with my heart in your hand.
Seems such a waste of a vibrant, potent organ.

Venus Goes Retrograde

Jenifer DeBellis

Dryden, United States

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