Brain Charm

by Kara Krewer

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.

KARA KREWER grew up on an orchard in rural Georgia. She holds an MFA in poetry from Purdue University, where she also taught creative writing and film studies. Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, The Journal, Prodigal, Ninth Letter Web Edition, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of a 2016-2018 Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University.