Marianne Shaneen

The Peekaboo Theory

for weeks I was unable to move anything from the precise
position it was in at the moment I woke to find you gone,
living like a Jain monk who walks knowing it's impossible to
take step or breath without sinning by killing insects

with each step I'm displacing something, even if only the air

but this morning without thinking I casually moved a dirty
cup left behind with your lipstick stain on it

someone watching me through the window would think nothing
of seeing me just pick up a cup and put it in the sink but
pain registered in me like a lower vertebrae creature that
has no organs with which to make sounds and if injured must
suffer in silence;

or like a squid--its location of pain sensitivity is similar
to that of a human, but if its skin is cut or its delicate
perineum is touched, instead of crying out it will discharge
the contents of its ink sac

while writing this I realize that I never questioned the
assumption that the expression of pain is directly connected
to the discharging of ink