It doesn’t matter what they call it.
The first image was of something like squid
in a cloudy aquarium, ink swirling,
a sinking, murky poison. But the brain
is nothing like a fish tank; I know this.
It is made up of wrinkles, rolled tight
like new pantyhose. Layered like an onion’s
pearly sheath; pink
and petalled peony. How to imagine it
then, the sadness? An ant
on the blossom, rot in the root,
a run in the nylon. If I was a house,
the power was out. Wires went
loose. It doesn’t help at all to know
the name of anything. The problem
is what’s missing. What it felt like
was I was extinguished. Burnt out as a light bulb.
I lay down in the dark while the doctors
stumbled to find the right
switches. Something got singed;
it smelled like old hair. What I wanted
was to leave but I couldn’t find the door.
What I wanted was the moon but it wasn’t
even night. It wasn’t a house I was in.