My mother was tinkering around with the sofa the other day
and the spring jumped up and bit her on the mouth.
They stitched her up so you can barely see the mark.

She remembered with me the time I split my eye open
on a baseball from my brother’s hand,
and the doctor’s office
and her fainting at the mercurochrome
on my face.

Flesh is funny—how saveable and markable it is,
How it rejuvenates but won’t forget,
how it keeps memories like the sofa spring and baseball,
ones you don’t want,
but also ones you do,
how a touch, for instance yours,
can go on living its life within
for days, months even, after it’s gone.

Zach Czaia teaches at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Minneapolis. He is also enrolled in the MFA program in creative writing at Hamline University.

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Published in the December 19, 2014 issue: View Contents
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