Iowa Writes

Renal Calculus

I wonder can my sleeping palm
Upon your sleeping back
Detect somehow the tiny crystals
(Jagged, smooth or staghorn)
Growing in the chambers of your kidneys.
Physics perhaps will someday express
What passes between one body and another.
How during our births your palm
Could rove my back, planchette
Upon a ouija board, and find each
Knotted Yes that burned for your touch.
Our bodies felt together the truth of
Contraction, dilation, transition. Words
We'd learned by heart and now forgot.
And now it is you who lies groaning in bed
And I who puts my lips to your cool, pallid head.
Your sweat glands exude a multitude
Of little clear pearls. My body
Tries to balance the equation
By making a lump in my throat.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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Paula Melton lives in Vermont with her husband and their three children. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1997.

This page was first displayed
on January 13, 2007

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