i’m contending with the girl in the photo.
it could’ve been the day she began menstruating.
brain aflutter with lesions, i watch a blood bubble
blossom from the injection site on my thigh.
in the photo the girl knows she will continually
evade averse events with minimal success.
who goes there, flirting with disability?
in some dreams, there’s nothing on the shelves.
at the injection site, curious spirits gather.
the girl in the photo, the lesions, all in collusion.
brain finds an alley to hide in.
no one knows which city lies ahead.
i am thinking of the city of my youth. this city
does not consider itself allied with me.
brain thinks about the lesions, sweet
white spots. brain thinks this looks good on me.
i am holding the city of my youth
& when you shake it, snow falls & settles.
truth talks to brain in alley.
alley trickles off map.
eleven printouts of my brain in an interoffice
envelope. eleven brains vying for my attention.
names crossed out, lists of undesireables.
days like this lie in wait.
eleven dreams stand at attention.
i know who they will become, if i look away.
i saw the brains myself emerge from the copier.
who will receive them, these flat brains.
sweet disease, said the maniac, as she struck
eleven brains from the invitation list.
These poems are excerpted from Evelyn Posamienter’s poem collection Brainiography, first published in 2006. The work is available here: