Angel Nafis

After Monica McClure

Ms. Nafis underwent a repeat pelvic ultrasound today
the final report is not available Preliminary reports
suggest a normal right ovary The left is enlarged
and contains 2 separate complex cysts one measuring
3.6 centimeters the second measuring 1.8 centimeters

B — Black or African-American


Angel, most loyal blood. Keep-a-promise,
Angel, devoted. Angel, faithful runes of wine
and cardinal. Angel, blank-old-blood, protein
stitched to oxygen. Obstacle course blood,
goddamn know-it-all hand-me-down.


Family History:
Mother deceased at the age of 36
Breast cancer diagnosed at the age of 33
Sister has lupus

There are no other known At the time of surgery,
she had a normal-appearing uterus but it was
minimally mobile The posterior cul-de-sac was
obliterated with extensive adhesions


Angel, 102-degree fever.
Angel, long-gone lavender in a dirty-water vase.
Angel don’t touch me here or there or there.
Can you smell me? Angel unspooled yards

of fabric. Yards and yards of unusable fabric.
Everything has hands, a mouth, everything reaches
across time and tissue.


The ovaries were kissing
The ovaries were not identified at the initial point
of the procedure, but after extensive lysis
they were revealed and noted The left fallopian
tube significantly dilated and tortuous


Angel, can’t you be a good thing?
Angel, on time. Clean scan, Angel.


The right ovary also mildly
but not significantly
There was a window in the left posterior
adhesions of the bladder to the uterus
Scattered pigmented lesions on
the pelvic sidewall
above the pelvic brim


Angel bowled over like a promise.
Angel howling, adhered to a ribbon of prayer.
Angel, splayed like a galaxy.
Angel, viscera smooth and glistening.
Angel, dilated like a cashed check.


After obtaining informed consent the patient was taken
to the operating room She had been placed on foam pads
to prevent slippage while in the Trendelenburg position
Arms tucked at her sides Legs supported in Yellofins stirrups
The cervix grasped with a single-tooth


Angel, colon distended, pelvis soaked in saline.
Angel obliterated melon.
Fastened to a dark star.
Lacerated like a web.
Tender witch, misunderstood
by the tide’s swift grip.
Ms. Nafis mortal as a rose.
Nobody’s mama.
More Poems by Angel Nafis