by Catherine Hamrick

Your office window pictures your straight-line story,
An everyday map locating secure bearings:
The college that buried you in seductive words,
The ancient cemetery desired by your urn,
The trees cooling domestic salt-dome upheaval,
The commute of right angles and stoplight seething.

You craved star journeys, but got a boyish big bang,
A seven-iron swing to the skull—and cell-flash of
Red-orange-yellow-blue-green spectrum explosions.

Ripped from its snug wall, your blood-rich left retina
Drowned in poisonous fluid, a ghostly planet
Fading to brown-purple and streaking milky pink.

Your frozen iris gapes, windowless to sunlight
And my heat-tipped fingers flirting inches away;
Your right eye cautiously frames me out of the view.

Catherine Hamrick, born in Birmingham, now lives in Chapel Hill. Her work has appeared in Southern Living, Cooking Light, Southern Accents, and Better Homes and Gardens.