Morgan Hamill

On learning that neurocognitive disorder is not synonymous with dementia

Bleeding into the brain

Forgive me for learning by
putting words in my mouth
and spitting them out

Bleeding into the space around the brain

worn stone
steps, years long
gone, stained,

glass shimmering,
light-brushed high
stone, quiet
easing open, our chests

heavy rows of flickering
candles between pews

what room
is there
to play
what space

Blood clot inside the skull causing pressure on brain

the moment I confess
to a life spent trying, bare
hints of a smile, fragile curls of cirrus
stretched thin as the crown
of a thunderstorm, fanning out from the eye
not quite hurricane, not yet


Positive: sometimes !10! !10! !10! !10! !10! !10! ::parhelion, an !10! !10! !10! !10! !10! :that bright spot
indicates a presence !10! !10! !10! !10! !10! !10! atmospheric optical !10! !10! !10! to one or both sides
where there should be !10! !10! !10! !10! !10! phenomenon: !10! !10! !10! !10! !10! !10!of the sun

Italicized headers from the title:
Definition of parhelion:

Morgan Hamill is a disabled poet and a graduate student in English Literature at Penn State, where she has been awarded a McCourtney Family Distinguished Graduate Fellowship. In 2019, she was a poetry semi-finalist in Nimrod's Francine Ringold Awards for Emerging Writers. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Cimarron Review, Copper Nickel, and The Southern Review.