Forces of Attraction
In the hospital parking lot,
my husband slips off his tungsten
carbide wedding band. I zip it safe
in my wallet change compartment,
where it mingles with pennies, postage
stamps, and a rare dollar coin. Inside
the hospital, I wait, grading, while his
protons spin and align, magnets clanking
dissonance with the Dave Matthews Band
he selects to relax in the enclosed tube.
My students' assignment: reflect on the
relationship between your life, feminism,
and our reading/viewing of The Vagina
Monologues. I read about families, boyfriends,
girlfriends. I write encouraging comments
in their margins, and highlight grading rubrics:
86, 78, 93, the rare 100. This familiar act
steadies my mind from all this spinning,
this picture forming of my husband's cervical
spine, the bulge between the C6 and C7
setting his nerves afire. These bodies,
parts pedestrian and taboo, when do we see
them, when do we really live in them? When
energy aligns? When muscles cramp? When
nerves sing or sting? When cells multiply,
rampant? My highlighter out of ink, imagination
running wild, the center cannot possibly hold.
And then, there he is, woozy, hungry, and I'm
set spinning, body zinging, alive with wanting.
I slip his ring back on his finger, drawn like
iron filings to his magnetic field.