They cut their teeth on myelin sheaths, singed dendrites,
then burrowed deep inside the soft gray matter and took
the nerve center, operating me by the book
since Saturday, which could be years ago. Some nights
I hear the yawning double reeds, the sound of tight
bolts loosening, or the rusted ratcheting meat hook
freeing the temporal lobe. Someday they’ll come back to cook
off the remaining optic nerves and turn the world white.
I used to hold so much, hold you, but now the blight
has starved unspoken words, has forced my eyes to look
remotely into yours, has thrown me by the crook
of the neck into mirrored halls cast in twining light.
You are my wife. You have a name. Say it. Say it
again. You are my wife. You have a name. Say it.