Jeannine Hall Gailey
Like a radio some of my connections have gone bad fizzled
zapped and my legs wonít move in the direction I tell them
and sometimes when I mean to say "milk" I say "snow"
if I want "hairbrush" I ask for "pomegranate"
It scares me these white holes in my brain
where art or music might have been maybe peopleís faces
maybe whole sections of memory
Iíve studied circuits electric impulse the current flows and then it s t op s
creating gaps shorting out
erasing memory erasing impulse or momentum or motion detection
I put my foot down graceful as a dancer and the bones crack and collapse
my hands shake when I try to hold a pencil
at the edge of the electricity that is diminishing my neural network
canít preserve what I remember the stumble the forgetting
the wrong word in my mouth
when I try to say your name
* * *
CESIUM BURNS BLUE
Copper burns green. Sodium yellow,
strontium red. Watch the flaming lights
that blaze across your skies, America –
there are burning satellites
even now being swallowed by your horizon,
the detritus of space programs long defunct,
the hollowed masterpieces of dead scientists.
Someone is lying on a grassy hill,
counting shooting stars,
wondering what happens
when they hit the ground.
In my back yard, they lit cesium
to measure the glow.
Hold it in your hand:
foxfire, wormwood, glow worm.
Cesium lights the rain,
absorbed in the skin,
dancing away, ticking away
in bones, fingernails, brain.
Sick burns through, burns blue.