blackbirdonline journalSpring 2010  Vol. 9  No. 1
print version

This Is the Brain

Still, I can hear them in the kitchen
feasting on the carcass of a unicorn.
Thirsty gurgles of night against linoleum—
they jerk about the house unbalanced,
a broken ceiling fan and rattling spoons.
This is the glamour of the brain:
whimpers of blood on the blankets,
elfin footsteps in the rafters,
a greedy bite taken from the moon.

It’s no longer scary, the body
breaking before the brain. Sleep
paralysis is less romantic than succubi.
Less treacherous than the evil breeding
behind my ear. There are no such things
as hungry ghosts or Martian cookbooks.

No—that is the brain out of sync. This is
the body powerless in the grip of darkness:
invisible, my grandmother sits
on my stomach and picks at her teeth
with a sliver of horn. She belches garlic
and licks my neck. Soon, she says.

You will all die soon.  end

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