At the Doctor’s Office

When the doctor says
I have permanent
hearing loss in both ears,

I imagine a monarch,
wide wings propped
on fragile legs,
resting on the wise doctor’s
balding head.

I shiver in their
thin green gown,
completely fit, except
this constant ringing
I’ve heard for years,

a side effect, I thought,
of silent retreats,
a hyper-attunement attained
through much hard work,

a sensitivity to the movement
of my body’s cells,
my inner cricket’s
tic, tic, tic.

When he adds:
It will get worse
the butterfly lifts
on able wings
from it’s slippery perch,
unimpeded by dangling legs.