The electrodes are more valuable than your mind.
Rounded percentages and minced words cannot disguise
the fact. Your mind is not your own.
The dampness of a sponge replaced by a thin metal plate
roughens the rhythm of your breath.
The surgeon comes in, dread draped over his lips.
Sun to planets — his team — he has no time
for the fragments of his intuition to fuse.
They form a hydrogen haze in a numbing jade outline
sharp against tiles bleached white.
The scalpel inches forward,
scraping for the last scraps of jam
in the jar. For when their lukewarm therapists
and the metallic pink pills fail, they turn to a metal plate.
Your eyes open to a blood-orange sky,
dotted with bluebirds and vultures,
smeared with vanilla and babies’ heads.
Imprinted on the backs of your eyelids are reminders
of the life you chose. A survival chance of 50-50 that turned into
a 40-60 that turned into you-can’t-catch-me
But as the needle sways through your warbling thoughts,
it creaks open third grade,
a yearning for thirty-one more minutes
of Jeopardy. When blankets of fried rice nourished your veins,
and your tongue was not trapped beneath golden gates.
You can see it in the surgeon’s eyes too — the yearning. The hope.
When the blackbird calls, you forgive him.