NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 18

Today’s prompt: “write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail.” (

Back Scratcher

I’d get an itch, right in the
small of my back, perfectly
positioned where I couldn’t
reach it. Sharp, insistent,
irresistible. You always
knew: something in the way
I sat, uncomfortable, trying
not to wriggle. You always
scratched it for me. Reaching
over, your playful intuitive
fingers never failed to find
the exact spot that needed
to be scratched, never failed
to know the exact right
amount of pressure to use,
of speed to apply, when to
rely on fingertips and when
to deploy the nails. You told
me you could read the subtlest
of small muscle twitches, that
my body told you what it wanted.
Your playful, nimble fingers
offering deep relief. You always
scratched my itchy back for me.

I bought a back scratcher
today. From the corner drug
store, a cheap metal telescoping
kind. I got an itch, right in the
small of my back, perfectly
positioned where I can’t
reach it.

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