Skulls, I’ve heard, have stories to tell.
I wish I could interview mine:
learn why it lacks
the smooth globular shape
shown in biology labs,
doctors’ examining rooms.
Why a dysmorphic groove
runs the brief length from my crown
down the saggital suture--
a trough providentially hidden by hair.
Why it produces a pleasant sensation
a satisfaction akin to my fingertip’s search
for the point of a leaf or sharp corner of paper.
that the skull’s outer surface
conformed to the purpose and shape
of the brain-part beneath.
That the crown of the head,
the closest to God,
was related to reverence--
an odd echo of Eastern conception
of the crown chakra as nexus to the Divine.
So what of this gutter of mine?
This bevel between embankments,
crown to the back of the head?
As if my cortex reacted at birth
like an anemone shrinking away
As if where the parietal plates
should have closed to a smoothness,
a moat developed to safeguard my brain
from the impulse to worship.
If there’s a moral North Star
that flickers above any storm,
my compass needle was skewed:
pointed not to the magnetic pole
but to what I believed my true north.
Landlocked but longing to sail
I embarked with no chart
but the love I considered my right,
fell afoul of wind gusts sweeping us south
to a zone of white squalls.
Devastation at sea and on shore:
connections as fragile as corals,
muddy secrets like mangroves unroofed,
the future washed out and reshaped
like a tropical coastline.
Storms pass. Marine life returns.
Mangroves sprout new stems and leaves
out of still-living trunks.
Time wobbles the earth on its axis,
the moral north shifts.