A Doctor Says I’m Too Young for My Body to Be This Old

An ocean separates sick from well. Underwater

I am accustomed to a slow drowning. No

ladder will reach these depths. No good

citizen able to pull this body from the descent

of a lifetime disabled. At the surface people peer

at a body they do not understand. They hesitate

like mirages haloed in sun. From below I wave

my arms as if to say I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.


Sarah Fawn Montgomery, a pixie-haired woman wearing round glasses, a cream-colored cable knit sweater, and a delicate gold necklace stands smiling in a bright forest.

Sarah Fawn Montgomery is the author of Halfway from Home (Split/Lip Press, 2022), Quite Mad: An American Pharma Memoir (The Ohio State University Press, 2018) and three poetry chapbooks. Nerve, a craft book on unlearning the ableist workshop and developing a disabled writing practice, is forthcoming with Sundress Publications, and Abbreviate, a short collection of flash nonfiction, is forthcoming with Harbor Editions. She is an Associate Professor at Bridgewater State University.