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Frameless Stereotactic Craniotomy With Tumor Resection

By December 20, 2022April 25th, 2023No Comments

Frameless Stereotactic Craniotomy With Tumor Resection

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After the operation her mind
became an uninhabited coast.

When we found her she offered
us bone fragment and sea-

weathered wood, asking
what they meant.

What looked like someone with her
was a tall stone that leaned in

as if suddenly understood.
“It was all shatter

and thoroughfare,” she said
and pointed to the wind.

“After the operation
I could see,” she said,
“those failures struggling

in the high-sided half-
filled pail to breathe
each thing

trying to
climb over the
others for air.”

The weather radar showed bands
of advancing snow and she wept.

“White to muffle but not cold
was what I wanted,” she said,

as black garbage bags calved
from the glacier face of her ornate and

intransigent grief onto
the sidewalk and moved out to sea.

After the operation there were gaps
into which things fell

but these were richly appointed
and rode a turquoise horse.

Each opened out onto a riverbed of gravels
and braided silt-filled waters

that could be followed
back up into the Annapurnas.

After the operation the desolation
was not behind her.

As when a storm has passed,
bleaching the air, and the stones

are still there.
“I thought that after

being under, the erasure, the evisceration
and terror, the acceptance

of risk, of severance, I would no longer
be stalked by the familiar emaciates

staggering across the dark plain
hawking their sacks of grief.

There should be light
on water where the tumor was.”

Out in the corridor
again the barred owl, soundless,

all portent. For days afterwards
she had aides scour

the room: nothing, not even
small rinds of fur.

There were so many burials. They had happened
while she couldn’t pay attention.

She tried to reassemble them,
but as with time and her skull

there were pieces missing. She fell back
onto enumerations: the one mother,

her raptor, the two cousins, the niece, the four friends,
the seven versions of things

will be OK. Gasping,
or eaten away from the extremities in.

None of the burials were her.
Practicing non-attachment had lost its luster.

She wept: the sea’s scent
had been resected also.

Salt, No. 3, Summer 2021