Psoriasis: A Poem

Psoriasis
by Mara Feingold-Link
PDF: Feingold Psoriasis

The bronze plaque
on Lake Champlain’s bridge
is missing a nail. The empty pit in
the top left corner is
the only indication that it has seen
countless cycles of pouring
rain and flaring sun.
On this dry afternoon it sits proudly
above a school of mooneye fish
swimming upstream toward clearer,
cooler waters in early April.
In their haste they scrape
their flattened bellies
along rock-lined riverbanks.
To swim so fast is rash;
beneath those silvery scales
lie hundreds of miniscule eggs,
pinpoints of new blood waiting
to be born.

The mooneye head toward
a quiet inlet where
patches of watermilfoil float
in the gently swaying current.
Exhausted from their pilgrimage,
the fish twist through
the plant’s feathery whorls
before reaching stones washed in
streams of healing sunlight.
Here, they pause to release
the eggs, marking out sharp margins
between crowds of their
delicate offspring.

A face leans against the window
of a 1997 Honda as it rumbles
down the freeway.
The face turns in the direction
of these tiny clustered globes
huddled together, waiting for life.
But all it sees in the water
is a setting sun reflected on
its rippled surface,
and it turns away.

Bio: Mara Feingold-Link is a third year medical student at Alpert Medical School of Brown University.  She is completing a scholarly concentration in the medical humanities, writing a collection of poetry that explores medical language and its intersection with the patient experience. She writes: About Psoriasis- A Poem  Mara’s email.

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