Platonic Penis Cleaning

Joseph Franklin
1 min readNov 29, 2022

When you’re crippled

or get crippled, your body suddenly

doesn’t belong to you

and in my case

my body was passed around to nursing homes, nurses, doctors, nurse aides, brothers and sisters, wives and mother-in-laws.

I became a man without a body — and by body,

I mean a machine society expects you to use to grow the economy. I was just something to maintain, keep living. I live entirely in my mind.

I am extremely lucky. In that the state provides the bare minimum and I have family to bear the extra — rest in dignity my friends not so lucky in this iteration of things. God damn you all, for them. Those who fall and can be picked up, but aren’t.

Sorry. What I came hear to say is I just remembered penises are used in sex. After years, months, days of my sister, brother, mother-in-law, nephew systematically craning me in bed, to do the rolls, place the pillows, exchange the tubes, prevent UTIs…

You forget the body is still there. Everything is platonic, your penis needs cleaned or you die sooner. These folks keeping me want me around. I start a journey to learn and love my body. If they do then I should.



Joseph Franklin

Poet; Quadriplegic; Rust Belt; Zen; Zazen; Pop Culture;