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Essay Fragment: Moral Model of Disability
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Published: Mon Sep 21 2020
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Essay Fragment: Moral Model of Disability

That winter we kept finding the wings
of pigeons pulled from their sockets. Viscera deleted
by the rain. A symbol stripped of its meaning.
Worry bead mistaken for a pebble. My mother
will not admit to our history heirloom of disease.
Once, malformed children were dashed against the rocks
slay the child, spare your now unburdened blood.
My chest is rivered with cracks my sternum broken like
an ox. My father tells me that a wolf will eat
their own young those too weak to survive.
This morning, a stranger in the strip mall offered blessing palms
to pull this shattered bone into church’s sharp-edged mercy.
This disabled body is always product or vessel
[of sin/for mercy]. Always this body of crooked back
& sidestepped gender. Body of apple-taker
& rib-giver. This body of ungiftings
worth praying away.


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