the longest wound

at last the boil has ruptured

after nearly a week

of marring my face

its furious redness

glowing like a siren

i’ve applied a pharmacy’s worth

of creams and serums

changing bandages

twice a day like a nurse

yet the inflammation persists

drawing from a deep well of vitriol

draining by night only to swell

into a turgid mass by day

governed by rhythms not my own

the healing only advances

when i stop smothering the wound

and start treating it from the inside

rest and hydration

soon work their magic

and the bump surrenders

sinking toward normalcy