Matter by Vanessa Moody

Posted: June 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

My brain, constantly humming
and whirring with the same noise
and inanity of lint whipping about
stuck in an old air conditioner,
jolts and lurches with the dirt road
doldrums of an expansive cycle
of knee-scabbing pain, unsticking
duct tape from the broken urn,
letting fall the china scraps in a
clatter to the ground, a sound
of washroom wailing disproportionate
to the true whalesong of my membranes,
that reverberating hell
that cannot be unstuck.

Also disproportionate: the frequency
with which I consider shaving my head or dying
my hair a fuchsia shock, the frequency with which I consider
driving to the airport and leaving the country
instead of shopping for groceries, and
the frequency with which I consider applying to jobs
in fields—space travel, let’s say—for which I am wholly unqualified.

There are four states of matter.

My mind is a gas trapped
in my solid brain, trying
to control my liquid self.

Gas is either flammable
or inert.

I do not understand plasma,
but it is abundant.
These qualities—
mystery and abundance—
pair well together.

An important word is stasis.
In science, it means equilibrium.
In politics, it means strife.
I like the integrity of a word
that can conjure two polar states.

My brain is in stasis.
My brain has been in stasis
since at least 2010,
according to my doctors.
That’s when the tumor began.

Vanessa Moody is Brazilian-American writer and illustrator living in Baltimore, where she shares a home with her cat and her human. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Eunoia, The Leland Quarterly, and Outstare Lightning. She is a Stanford graduate pursuing her MFA at NYU. Twitter:


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