Today's poem is by David Hernandez


In the womb our skull's not one bone
but pieces of bone. It's plate tectonics
how they come together. It's jigsaw.
Except here, the gap where four
rounded corners don't quite meet.

Soft spot, it bulges when the baby
weeps, sinks when he's dehydrated.
Mostly it pulsates, as if beneath
those silky filaments of first hair
the skull protects a heart instead.

Who hasn't once imagined pushing
their finger through the dome,
poking the gray matter? Dark thought,
plumb on my thumb, my own scalp
shivers just thinking about it.

One to two years, the skull's trapdoor
closes. Finally the brain's protected.
Except here, this entrance to the theater
of the mind. Doorway for any
bad idea or influence to walk through

and take the plush red seat beside us.
How thrilling infidelity becomes then.
How sensible it sounds to leap
from a bridge into oblivion. Here:
this opening I cannot put my finger on.

Copyright © 2005 David Hernandez All rights reserved
from West Branch
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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