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Two Of by Ariane Conrad

Pain, lodged that morning
months ago under the nail
of my right ring finger,
still bites. I recall being
frantic to leave behind
a ring-free tub
before we left town
(a traveller's superstition
like clean underwear)
and slicing myself
on a porcelain edge.
I recall cussing
and dressing one-handed,
that hand high in bloodless air,
and thanking my stars
(the stars I was seeing)
that I'd been given two
of most of the most needed things.
It didn't matter,
my sceptic of omens --
it was one, that morning,
that morning still biting
the hand still holding
one ventricle high in the air.

©1996 Ariane Conrad