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The Speak Up blog features essays and poetry by people living with neurologic disorders and their caregivers. Readers can also find letters to the editor.
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Neurology: A Poem
Neurology
 
How does it all begin,
the skull as an opaque killing jar
of beauty?
 
Somewhere a branch bends in the wind,
and a spark arches through the cerebellum,
axons flung like the constellations of a mad astronomer.
 
How does it all begin,
a jay shrilling out in the sky’s same hue,
the tympanic sea growing silent
until the memory of pecked figs and sunlight
crescendos into consciousness.
 
Or the scent of house wine and cigarettes
and the single tear you dabbed into a black napkin,
the amygdala wrung dry as a raisin
and still straining for the serum of grief.
 
How does it all begin,
the snake coiled in St. Augustine
which turned thalamic fire into the sudden regret
that you had not seen the year’s magnolias bloom.
 
Or when you lay all day by the glass skin of a creek,
stones tumbling lazily through the stream
like so many signals floating through ganglia.
 
How does it all begin,
limbic, cortical, mammalian?
 
In the end synaptic sparks have done
as much to fill the bone with light
as stars that strive to dream of day
while cloaked in endless night.
 
--Jason Duncan
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