“Inflorescence”

-for Patrick Parnell, d. 2011

 

Speaking of hemispheres, in his they found

a hidden notch in the inoperable spot under hair,

 

skin, and scalp, the folds and fluid of grey matters,

in the deep, “a spurious malignant neoplasm.”

 

Ten months of furious burns to a locus above

the left ear, he became bold in baldness: half-man/half-dust.

 

Conversations are events beginning with a slow, joyous slurring

and smiling resolve, his calm clasping of the hand

 

with his glove-like paw, where notes and sonorities rake and shake

the frets, sustains and flourishings, exuberant renditions

 

of “Little Wing” to a fast-flown double-stop. To this moment.

Where he closes his eyes in a deliberate isolated quiet,

 

a face that fades, breath that stills the motions through

open Spring windows, where the ghost eyes of an afternoon bobcat

 

slink up and down the glade. I held your hand like a son

might clench a father’s and I note how you smile,

 

how now your wife just might let you go.

______________________________________________

Dylan Crawford is from northern California and studied Slavic Literature and Languages at UC Berkeley. He is a writer and educator currently living in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, with his wife and two children.

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