introductory essay to our issue. Gregory Luce, who in “Anxiety Journal—Spring 2015” notes that, “Reliefand griefmake a full rhyme,” points out howpoetry is only itselfanddoes things that onlypoetry can do. This principle is shown in every example included in the issue, by Luce and his colleagues. Many of the poets talk about medical experiences (inpatient, outpatient, and otherwise) and the feeling of being pathologized; the at-times validation and sometimes deep trouble that accompany labels and diagnoses; and matters of self-empowerment, acceptance, and emancipation, as well as fear, dread, impatience, and frustration. Jeannine Hall Gailey’s “Multiple Sclerosis: Shockwave,” Chris Costello’s “Autogeography,”DylanKrieger’s “where are yourwounds i am here,” Karen Christie’s “MrS. THacker, Speech THerapiSt,” and Kara Dorris’s “Osteochondroma Lineage,” do this beautiful and intensive work distinctly from each other. The natural world’s many possibilities and at times forbidding structures manifest in many of these poems, telling us about how moving, thinking, feeling, and being in material and invented worlds aremore nuanced than somemight imagine. KaraDorris’s invocation of the sea in “Wanting to be a Girl” is an example: When I close my octopus eyes, 4 arms, 4 legs lift. I want only 2 of each. The sky said stay, meant to be this parasitic twin, a bleed to what a girl should be. But I ache for what my body is—fused spines, lotus flower lungs. For what it could be —knee socks & Mary Janes. I red-flag the scatter pattern of debris: an arm, a metacarpal, an earring, a virginity. Who does a goddess pray to? I ask the sea, help me lose this extra being. Swim through skins, churn placentas, pull oxygen through 4 eyes, expose my vertebrae. Cast back. Even a sea wants to worship something. There are multiple styles of communication in the poems. In “Senses ofGreen,” Elissa Hyre says, Illness is green. It sounds like an EKG monitor. Page 26 - Nine Mile Magazine

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