-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.