Issue > Poetry
Noah Stetzer

Noah Stetzer

Noah Stetzer is the author of Because I Can See Needing a Knife (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016). His Pushcart-nominated poems have appeared in Sixth Finch, Waxwing, New England Review, and other various journals. He has been a fellow of the Lambda Literary Retreat and a work-study scholar at the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. Noah lives in Kansas City and can be found online at

Pamphlet _267596_immune_reconstitution_syndrome.pdf

When they started me at last
on combination therapy, they warned
about a body and its immune system
free again to fix itself
with an overwhelming response:
my mouth blistered with ulcers
as my body rushed to catch
up with all its infections. I went looking
for the opposite of explosion
and not implosion, not another
kind of destruction. In my mind
I saw time-lapse films that show
slow growth at record speed.
That's the kind of fixing
I'm talking about: a sudden better
where Rushmore un-faces—granite
reassembles into fissures, filling
cracks; a slide of stone rises and there
again an untouched thing in a green
and a far away place—the opposite
of catastrophic wrecking, something
rather that builds up quick
—a violent mending that puts
back what's been broken.


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