Ohm

September 20, 2011

by Erica Tesla

It began with the accident:
three feet of lost flesh made way for
plastic, the living and the inorganic
interfaced,
and I systematically learned again to grasp.

When I get the other shoulder inked, I leave that arm
covered. The parlor-man, he thinks he can
suss me out: a hippie who mistook
ohm-as-in-resistance for om-as-in-shanti
until I tell him it means     ​decay,
our bodies all do.

I can change. I think:
the bees can see UV; why can’t we?
Busted evolutionary equipment, hardware in want of an upgrade.
In my fingertip, I inject
a sphere of rare earth, iron,
a bearing to get my bearings,
and now (when in the presence of electromagnetic fields) it
​     vibrates? buzzes? feels.
My lip is pierced, errant hair seared away,
uterus protected by a copper T,
contact lenses intimidating the view into focus.

Over dinner and mother’s objections, I will mention
​     grandad’s pacemaker,
​     a bottle of Centrum silver,
​     the incision decision dad made after too many children.
Protest discarded, I will be renewed,
made in the image of my choosing,
no longer accidental;
bionic, really.

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