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   t h e    c a t h e d r a l    o f    m y    h e a d

--- A M Y   H O L M A N

         algebra (Arabic): the reunion of broken parts

1 Blood, thick as paste. Suffocate even sounds like the stumble and stick of breath.

2 It's the reunion of broken parts in the cathedral of my head. A snowy owl sweeps down from the rafters. In this holy place gone to ruin, bones embrace after bloody quarrel.

3 Like a gunslinger propped against a post, choking on blood, I go for the draw, dropping my hand below hip to a button, bedside. Comes a posse of nurses in the pasture-soft a.m. as my heart escapes. Don't worry, they are just observing, replies my respiratory nurse in a cardigan of new fallen snow. Bones in the bed of fear, I take comfort in her soft and sure heft, and a slurpy suction of tubes.

4 To come later, problem after problem in the mind congregation, still unruly in the perfected head. But, even the surgeons corrected my jaw in plaster the night before they moved their saws through bone. It takes practice, but soon I am my equation of face and view, demanding answer until it seams, suddenly healed.

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