"How it is fickle, leaving one alone to wander
the halls of the skull with the fluorescents
softly flickering. It rests on the head
like a bird nest, woven of twigs and tinsel
and awkward as soon as one stops to look.
That pile of fallen leaves drifting from
the brain to the fingertip burned on the stove,
to the grooves in that man’s voice
as he coos to his dog, blowing into the leaves
of books with moonlit opossums
and Chevrolets easing down the roads
of one’s bones. And now it plucks a single
tulip from the pixelated blizzard: yet
itself is a swarm, a pulse with no
indigenous form, the brain’s lunar halo.
Our compacted galaxy, its constellations
trembling like flies caught in a spider web,
until we die, and then the flies
buzz away—while another accidental
coherence counts to three to pass the time
or notes the berries on the bittersweet vine
strewn in the spruces, red pebbles dropped
in the brain’s gray pool. How it folds itself
like a map to fit in a pocket, how it unfolds
a fraying map from the pocket of the day."
Source: Poetry (February 2012).