birth of this poet
by t. zoEy benally

1998, i was rear-ended by a pumpkin volvo 1977, counter-clockwise into a ditch
smeared bumper, mangled long bed, broken back window and the new
driver side rear tire of our brown 1979-80-82 Ford F-150 shredded
temporal lobe traumatized, neuron chaos ensued

day after morning, anonymous to myself, no one, a stranger
human being in a bed, regarding window frame silhouette
creep up pastel plastered wall, no previous shadow memories to compare
placid sheets, Speed Queen bouquets, stretch muscles, turn over and back to sleep

sepia film strips played, projected to the screen at optic nerve end
chronicled yesterday activities of three females, 28, 15, and 2
it started at 4AM with a metal trailer door knock, we boarded the brown truck
in Bayfield there was that doe, risked her life, leapt in front, third messenger

a bird in Beclabito was messenger two, ogling me from long, high windows
Red Valley coyote, messenger numero uno, ignored for my friend Lewis
one last chat, only jolts of nitroglycerin kept his striated cardiac muscles sliding
vessels relaxed so blood gush pumped from chamber to chamber continues

film cropped, edited to the final fourth warning, two vehicle slammed together
loud clap of fiberglass, metal on Colfax and Pearl, pause then scurry away
reflector crumbs left behind, crop to three females in a brown truck--LOST
parked at a payphone, buying a liter of orange juice for the toddler in carseat

the film ends here, broken, reel spins, film fish tail, slaps, flaps, flicks
melon hollow whack of my skull, no head rest engineered to cradle
bone on metal, grey matter on bone, capillaries burst, neuron arms
and fingers stretch, mozzarella, until they reach snapping point

math super powers lost, my new identity as a mere mortal more apparent
with each reopening of my eyelids, no longer able to recognize number faces
the taste, touch and smell of numbers eliminated, memorization impossible
and in it's place, repeated verses, droned, keep me awake until i download
scribble verses on a paper scrap, receipt, with a cheap Bic pen, eyes covered by dark

deals with the devil, make me fly
take these ridiculous, futuristic, wooden wings
wings that make me crash & yearn for lightness
give me wings of metallic vapor
flailing through the atmosphere
ruddy face, germless gut, fuming at the mouth

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