They are insatiable, memories.

Touch one,
they swarm to the blood heat,
maggots on a wound.
What unspeakable lust
laid those eggs
that feast when they hatch
on putrescence?
Yet their fat appetite
eats away the rot,
cleanses the wound for healing.

Let the flesh creep awhile.
Or walk wounded forever.

© 1995, Joanne Barrie Lynn

Joanne Barrie Lynn is a founding member of Avalanche Poets, a performance group. Her work has appeared in several Northwest journals and in the anthology, She Who Was Lost Is Remembered. She is the mother of a child with Tourette Syndrome.