jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
[personal profile] jedusor
There are too many poems about dead women's hair
And even if there weren't, if this one were the first
I would not want my poem to be about her hair

She said it bounced three steps behind the rest of her
I loved it, but I still would not have told you this
if I could find the words to write a different poem

When Einstein died they took cross-sections of his brain
The strangest thing they found when they examined it
was the abnormal size of his corpus callosum
That means he could connect ideas in new ways

I do not think they took cross-sections of her brain
They took some other things: her eyes, her heart, her lungs
maybe more than that--I don't remember what
they took away to live in other people's flesh
But if they'd cared to look I think they would have found
thick bundles of white matter stretching through her brain

I want to write a poem about that, but I can't
Her brain is just too much--
it was, it was too much
--to write a poem about

It wasn't just one shade; if you looked close you'd see
the red and gold and brown that bounced three steps behind
It's possible there might have been more colors there
Perhaps if I had known, I would have counted them

I wouldn't, though; if I had known what lay ahead
her hair would not have been the most important thing

I think about her now at inconvenient times
and if I could, I'd think of what the world lost
but thoughts like those deserve more tears than I can cry
and so I find myself remembering her hair

If I were more like her, the way she brandished words
that stomping elegance she had and wished she had
if all her eloquence were here at my command
then maybe I would not write poems about her hair.
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