Lori Brack


I was born under a fire sign in a Catholic delivery room, my mother knocked out. A doctor tweezed me from between her unconscious legs going blue at the toes with cold, my hot red body bruised from birth. I wear my wound at the right temple. Not a place for worship, but the part of me that covers the temporal lobe – site of sensing and language, the root of amnesia’s loss of time. I devolve. I dissemble. I take myself apart and name the remains. A breath. Someone clamps the mask over nose and mouth, turns up twilight as logs are laid at dusk, as someone bends to kindling with a match.


Startled into life by magenta-dark and blossom-pink dense as a little girl’s dream, Sunday at dusk I lean into a crabapple tree, branch tips holding lush candles up. Like a memory of roses and a bowl of fruit just past ripeness – a sweet but faint scent that means I close my eyes, breathe in, hold. I bend closer just at the tip of olfaction when a pigeon blazes out of the tree and away. Wings spark my ancient brain parts to the birth stirring: a creature inside all that billowy pink, flown into high-pitched scallops of sound.


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