Like crows huddled to roost

through winter nights, your flock

of feathery dendrites shifts, relinquishing

the blessings of oblivion. The synapses

distill calligraphies of dew.

What parts are gone?

Somewhere else the surgeon molts

a sky-blue plumage. You can hear

a nurse speak kindly, and reply,

but memory stands with one foot on each rim

of a crevasse that swallowed tunes that the

anesthetist’s radio played.

What parts are gone?

Their territories sliced up, paper-thin,

are deeply stained. The names emerge:

atlas of villages in type almost

too small to read. Under high power, past

a plexus of swept lanes and plots aligned

with ancient walls, a hero in a square

raises a famous blade. But in the air

crows wheel and call, leaving all this behind.

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