Poetry: "Bloodshot" By Megan Pinto

February 5, 2022

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash



The doctor traces my orbital bone 
with her finger, asks 
when was it last that I slept, 
and who do I call 
when I’m scared? 

                        The skin on my face 
is dry. Doc says my body needs rest.
I think back to yesterday: a woman 
passing by was telling her companion: 
you know, my brain 
has been damaged, I can’t remember 
what I’ve said. 

I spend so much time looking 
for signs. I asked a shaman 
to retrieve the lost parts 
of my soul. But the shaman said no, 
that my soul 
is intact, just enmeshed. 
Riding the subway home, I imagine 
the man above me clenching 
and unclenching my throat. 

                        During any risk 
assessment, one must identify each hazard, 
then determine who will be harmed
and when.
                        I find it natural 
to smile when I lock eyes 
with a stranger, I give my name 
away. I’ve read that deep sorrow 
is cyclical, like seasons of harsh
rain—but also genetic.
                        Growing up, 
my mother scrubbed the floors
each day until they shone. These mornings,
making my bed is a futile 
task. These nights, I push a pile 
of laundry to one side, the clothes 
cradling my back. 
                        People always say 
you’ll know love when you find it. . . 
But how can I describe my God 
sized hole, how it widens 
                        with each breath?


Megan Pinto

Megan Pinto is a poet living in Brooklyn. Her work has received support from Bread Loaf, the Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, the Port Townsend Writers' Conference, and an Amy Award from Poets & Writers. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson. Find her online at www.meganpinto.com