No vicious handful of pain,
no breakbeat shatter of nerves when I step,
no cautious calculation of what I’ve eaten, in fact
no need to calculate at all beyond
deciding whether or not I’m full:
I imagine life before diabetes
was something else,
if only I could remember.
It’s like recalling life
before I was born.
I know it happened
but I was different then.
Another form. Another body.
I’m doing fine in most ways
but every time I cringe
and twinge, each time
I blast the naked nerves of my feet,
every time I cannot feel
a bottle cap, every clumsy second
when I manage to turn a knob by pushing through
the unnatural numbness in the fingers,
I realize I cannot imagine anymore
the time when none of these acts
would have registered