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Occipital, Parietal, Sphenoid, Frontal, Temporal, Ethmoid

D. C. Reid
From:   Open 24 Hours. Fredericton, NB: Broken Jaw Press, 1997.


Rain when it touches the face like the ends of swimming hair.
             I do not easily forget such precision; how naturally
                          the eight bones of her skull came apart, how they flowed

through her mother's hips which had previously known only the love we rode
one another to.
                        "You have your retirement for hobbies," her mother called, and called my name
from her naked body on the stairs.
                   In the flooded basement of the duplex Richardson I listened
at my electric trypewriter and went insane.

Adjusting that October night to redefine the decisive moment
              I put my hand under her warm, wet, five-minute head, terrified.
Memory insists the room was white, or maybe green.
The room where I smoked and passed out. Winter fire flared across the wall
          like a kind of intelligence. I could not understand anything

as blurred as the future,
                                   the passionless efficiency with which a birthday candle
would one day set fire to her hair.

The way an orchid becomes part of a tree, I carried my daughter those years.
The days I ran with her down the long hall and circled the fireplace in a room
              that smelled of fish.
Her mother brought home her breasts, milk letting down through her brown silk blouse.

The news detatched itself from its paper and rose up the chimney.
"If you loved me, you wouldn't write that poetry anymore."

 

Years distant. The far and peaceful end of a Sunday.
In the untamed street the wind-chime now peeling,
                                                                       the afternoon paper
wrapping late spring peonies, a dripping
                                                       of petals on the unwashed stairs of the other house.
This has all been true and passing time makes it no different.
                                                                    Tell me what a father is.
Tell me to let go: the exact way a Siamese fighting fish will turn and rip its own image to pieces.



D. C. Reid's works copyright © to the author.


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