Say a fire gallops through your brain’s
village of thatched roofs.
Say you get a chance to carry with you
one small collection of treasures
before car veers into ditch,
before your brain is loosened
like an oyster sliding in its shell.
What if I told you there is a second mouth
that lives in the skull
and time and trauma feed it:
a swing set concussion stealing
something small like a birthday dinner
or your first horseback ride.
The years in another state
taking whole neighborhoods,
the Afghan restaurant where you went on your first date,
golden raisins bedded in rice.
The joke shop after where you both tried on
the rubber heads of different animals—
the lamb’s, the wolf’s.
Say what to save
if you could pry open the shining jaw,
reach down that throat.