koi sidebar

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 3, September 2014


M. Kei
Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, USA

Lupus Song

Once again the brown rings rise on my skin and mark my face. Most people consider the marks of discoid lupus to be disfiguring and disgusting, but I’m grateful. For years I’ve suffered bouts of malaise in which there was nothing definitively wrong with me, but others, and most especially the voices in my head, had an explanation:

Lazy. Malingerer. Depressed. It’s all in your head. Get up. Stop procrastinating. Be responsible. Be an adult. You wouldn’t have these problems if you would just get it in gear.

For the last several months, when I felt unwell and laid myself down, the brown rings have risen in testimony: It’s not all in my head. I’m not making it up, and an antidepressant won’t fix it.

each oval lesion
shaped like
a musical note,
singing in my skin



| contents page | next tanka prose |

koi sidebar r