is the modern synonym for skeleton.
Marrow, a euphemism for hive mind:
on better days, hormones.
Head. I’ve learned to assemble the wiring
from IKEA pictographs and indecipherable
craniums. Home. I am nowhere near human
now – the scalp smells like an oil slick,
gathering the corpses of unfortunate beasts
in its tendrils like a greedy cephalopod.
Colliculus = “little hill”
For now, I’m tapping holes in the preserved midbrain
and planting flags for each aspect of perception I conquer.
Once, ice picks hammered out personalities like pollution
and we fished in unknown lakes for the Lochness monster.
We used to read the brain as consequential bumps.
Now, we have to tackle the mind as a mountain range
named after devoured gods, mythological storms,
shapes irrelevant as constellations. Erecting
religious symbolism for each psychological corpse
in absence, as if we’ll find something more meaningful
than chaos and asymmetry in the flesh.
Suddenly, I am an oasis of sucrose and butter –
pregnant with batter – smiling with lipstick of maple
glaze – yes, I have risen like a sunny dough
kneaded out like horizons under a dopamine surge
but there was expansion in the midst of doubt
and new planets, golden with lard, lace the cooling rack.
(I decided to take today a little less seriously after a lovely local fritter. It is Spring Break, after all, experimental duties aside. Also, I heartily recommend The Book of Donuts, edited by Brown and Latham. Like many proper lab animals, I am readily motivated and inspired by food!)
Let it be – we are comprised of pale, mismatched Legos
and upside-down jellyfish colored like smoke over a sunet
without the immortality. Phantoms pulsate in the roots
and tell us to act – this is a transient sermon,
forming pulpits from membranes and organs from foramina.
There is no scenery like Apollo nesting in the vesicles.
This is how I’d recite the spine: lucent and finite
in its homily. Movement, the lucky alignment
of windows – breath, as busy junctions and fragile stoplights.
What are the symptoms of wanting
outlets to melt in your hand, stick
to your cheeks with cheap licorice?
I console my batteries like dying
crickets. Wait for that leg to sputter,
the mic in its thighs to gain power.
Pure water isn’t very conductive.
I dare you to drink from wetlands
that don’t transform your feet to rubber.
The electric tongue, stilled in new tar.
Lily pink lingers on your fingers, misty
on the matter if it was Advil or candy.
It’s not about healing anymore
but liquefying your spine into
rivers brimmed with biomass.
I could diagnose your teeth as snowshoes.
I’ve never seen a blizzard bleed before,
but it’s thumped against my own skull
and forged tetanus
from cranial musk.
Spotted white, I know your throat is infected.
I’d call it water on the brain, but it’s simply
the Spring melt. The amygdala’s expansion,
Darwin’s way of summoning those hounds
through anything holy.
Mammalia is chronic.
The treatment is to speak
as lightly as the shedding.
Tread the line between therapy and poison
like huddled rattles
in the Black Hills.
Antidotes were made for arrows
not the mouths
dripping in indigo and mice.
Thin strips of soggy pelt
with rigor mortis.
There’s expertise. There’s experimentation.
The difference lies in the electrons
lining pufferfish lungs.
There’s three protons
between breath and salt
and one distracted knife
between breathing or not.