DIVIDED

DEVON BALWIT

 
 

       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.

 

 
 

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