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Updated: Aug 16, 2022

By Cara Peterhansel

This time, my legs can swing over

the side of the table. I present my knee

to be appraised. Look how well it can bend.

Look how this piece you put in me

fits into its slot now, shaken down like

a puzzle piece into its grooves.

Look how my quadricep, anemic hourglass,

fires itself to lift from the paper of the table.

Can you see this? Look how the scars are silvering.

I can walk now, though maybe not down slippery

stairs, or, ok, maybe not across the ice.

But look how it steps up a stair! How tall

I can stand, how I can tsutsu my tiptoes

in the body echo of a ballerina.

Maybe when it’s over, if it’s over, I’ll dance.


Cara Peterhansel (she/her) is a queer poet from Connecticut. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work explores the intersections of disability, injury, mental illness, queerness, and intimacy. Her work has previously appeared in Stone of Madness, Kissing Dynamite, and The Laurel Review. She can be found online at and @CPeterhansel on Twitter.

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