Rochelle Hurt

craniotomy

they cracked a panel
                                 free, easy as any
        china, tiny saucer of you
that held, like a fossil,
                                 an impression
        lifted from the sediment—
a cheek so charred it
                                 felt woolen, tiny
        fibers curling beneath
your eye, pressed
                                 against the dash, gummy
        with heat, sharp scent
of gasoline needling
                                 your head, punctures
        where light trickled in
and out again. how
                                 will it get through
        now? through that
titanium sheath,
                                 bolted to the black
        inside you, the shield
you tried for years
                                 to whiskey-weld.
        plate placed, they sealed
the puckered lips
                                 of scalp, a shut mouth.
        inside, a flowering
of gristle, white
                                 bouclé tissue threaded
        through the brain, cracks
between memory
                                 and memory. what tiny
        intaglio etchings of our home
have been pressed
                                 like antiques into that
        metal shred? if I were to oil
its hinges and open
                                 it like a door, what
        face would I find there
on its belly, what
                                 ebbing world you’ve
        been living in?

Rochelle Hurt is the author of a novel in poems, The Rusted City (White Pine, 2014). Her work appears in Best New Poets 2013, Crab Orchard Review, Mid-American Review, The Southeast Review, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere. She is a PhD student in Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati.
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