The Scientist’s Lobotomy: A Poem


The Scientist’s Lobotomy

Did you look inside her brain
at that place
where you imagined
all those demons, that disease?

Was her skull split open
like a shell
for its soft fruit
to be examined
by the stainless tines
of your science?


What did you find, in that shimmering inside?

Was it not so dark as you thought it might be?

Did you see, there in the folds, the pits that you pictured?

Did you find
the small empires
you expected
in a chemical rot and lesion?

Did you swim
in the swamps
tucked into the coasts between
this region and that region?

Were there scales and layers, tangles like cities on a roadmap?


Or was it softer, smoother…perfect?

Did the gentle pink edge remind you of a shell
that you once picked up from the shallows of the ocean?

Did the salt on your lips taste like waves?

There were patterns in the sand and you traced them
as mountains.

You saw the pools, your eyes reflected against the sky reflected and…

…you knew the truth.

You found it in that shell that held the sunset.

That soft slick pink and bruise
of grey and blue
that felt, to you,
soft like your mother
could never be.

For a moment, the whole world was there
and your finger felt
the sound inside
like music.

It’s so easy to forget
that you wanted to live
inside that place
where the ocean roared
against your ear
for you alone to hear.

When you looked at her brain did you see
the landscape of her memory?

Was it a castle
a library
a junk store
a field?

Was the universe in there?

Did it look like sand?

…or was it just a small grey region, asleep
and of a certain weight
that you carved out
and placed on a scale?

Was it barely alive at all?

Tell me, what did she smell like, in that deep
dark opening
that you made?

Did you find, in her crenellated warmth, the place
where voice was born?

You never heard it.

She never spoke.

You never listened?

It doesn’t matter now.

You’ve forgotten
what it was
that you were looking for
in that space behind her eyes.

Do you see that, even sleeping, her mouth looks like a bow?

You have no way of knowing that as a child
she sang the same song
over and over again
because it made her happy.

Tell me, when you pulled
the two halves apart
did they make
any noise at all?

Tell me, what did you see inside?

Did you find God?

Or did God find you?

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