Enoch’s brain was divided into two parts. The part in
communication with his blood did the figuring but it
never said anything in words. The other part was stocked
up with all kinds of words and phrases.
(Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor)
That unseen sneak of me machinates in its dark pulse, always
hinting, wanting, but letting me fumble for what. Someday,
I will take a tong to its tongue, pluck it out and nail it to a pole.
Then we’ll see which way the breeze blows, what stories flap.
Always it fingers my doings, telling me like a rosary, making me
voice its dark prayers. Once, I took a knife to it, but we both bled.
At small desks, I learned my letters, each a perfect noose for some
neck. My blood points, and they hang, and then it sends me for
the scraps. I have tried to talk it out, vomiting words in torrents,
but it battens in my core like a flea, endlessly reproducing. Even
now it wills this word and the next until finally whispering stop.