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When They Scanned My Brain for Love

It was the animal that came up
dominant. The animal who tears
across the lawn at dusk and leaps

into the pond. The animal who climbs
trees on the property perimeter,
who sleeps in the leaves,

dreaming of anemones and starfish.
Who walks barefoot toward the sea.
I can hear it wrestling with the sand,

that old game, swallowing and choking on
and spitting out glass. It smooths,
but doesn’t feel tender toward stones.

The sea came up dominant in me–
not a field, or sky. No wonder.
These qualities lie just beneath

the scalp–self esteem, veneration,
benevolence. When they scanned
my brain for love they found only

my longing to come and go and
repeat. My currents pulled
by a world beyond the one

they know. I would pull
out my hair
for that world.
Posted 02/08/15
First published in the anthology Lilac City Fairy Tales (2014).
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