“In the Weeks Before DBS” by Carol Graser

Reading by the author

Deep Brain Stimulation, a treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

Dried leaves skittering like toads across the lawn
after last night’s wailing storm that downed trees
and electric cables leaving us to skitter down
the streets with these trunks cut just to the white

line of the shoulder. Your shoulder next to mine
you rise to rows of prescription canisters
these pills that stand in for diminishing cells
In two weeks, they will test you stripped of that

scaffolding. You say sometimes you delay your
medication to get a taste of total withdrawal
to feel the teetering start of collapse. The heavy frost
is melting and I pack candles and flashlights back

into our power outage box, the box I assure you
is well stocked, the one I promise not to lose

Carol Graser’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Apricity Magazine, Berkeley Poetry Review, Evening Street Review, Hollins Critic, I-70 Review, The MacGuffin, Southern Poetry Review, and Home Planet News. Her collection The Wild Twist of Their Stems was published by FootHills Publishing in 2007. Since 2003, she’s run the monthly poetry series at the legendary Caffè Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY. She has performed her work at various events and venues around New York State.

Image by Alan Coon

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