My brain felt swiped clean.
I couldn’t love
songs I loved; friends came

nameless as mailmen …
A loaf of dough
forbidden to rise,

I’m slid into the hollow magnet.
Din of a dozen arcade games, but louder.
The MRI finds no sign

of stroke; the EEG, no fried circuitry.
Short-Term Temporal Lobe Seizure.
I’m told: forget it.

Forget my state of forgetfulness …
Was Dismal Harmony a childhood
wildlife preserve?—near tracks

where Lackawanna means
two streams meet and divide
in the tongue of an obliterated tribe.


From Listen (MadHat Press, 2020) by Steven Cramer. Copyright © 2020 by Steven Cramer. Used with the permission of the author.