Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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     after a sculpture by Wolgang Laib

Field soul, underlaid with granite, the milk corseted
and amnesiac upon the floor, the sculpture

vibrating when you take it in, like a body touched
by the levitational spell, the priest’s hands filling

with gravity at my father’s threshold, his body still
trothed and unresponsive on the bed, whatever self

was left lost in the acoustics of the frontal lobe,
so little saturation in the blood, so little oxygen,

that his chest baritoned with every breath, the prayer’s
epiphora echoing through his body’s scars and cholesterols,

those prairie-long hesitations in the blood, or so
we imagined, my family and I like harmonists tuned

to the blankness of his mind, telepathical and sad,
no God coming down to reverse the winter sky,

just the snow-blind emptiness of grief, just my father,
subterranean and numbed, the four of us standing

in the heirlooms of his breath while the doctors laid
cooling blankets on him to preserve the brain,

my father nouned inside himself, no vortices swirling,
no conscious thoughts, just that bleached quiet in a mind

that seams a self together, that silence, that therapeutic
granite, that sculpture, a year later, when I looked at it,

seeming to rise from the museum floor, like my father
untying the straightjackets that night,

beginning to pick the body’s lock, the priest’s hands
dropping their shadows on his chest,

while down in the blood’s epiphanies,
undying, cell-by-cell, his body bodied on the bed.  end

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