A woman in pain will forget
to be kind, or clean. She will probe
the folds and ripples of her
cerebrum, she will feel
her brain floating like a large grey
plum in a crater full of spring run-off.
When the road rises to meet her
and rains down stone by pitted stone,
when the bullhorn roars,
she will unscrew the light-bulb of her
head, reach in and palm
the cerebellum like a scrotal sac.
Squeeze. Consider the intimate
maze of cognitive fiction. When in
doubt, apply pressure.
Tanis MacDonald is the author of The Daughter’s Way (WLUP, 2012), a study of the female-written elegy in Canada, finalist for the 2013 Gabrielle Roy Prize in Canadian literary criticism, and a contributor to The Memory Effect (WLUP, 2013) and Canadian Literature and Cultural Memory (Oxford UP, 2014). She is also the author of three books of poetry, most recently Rue the Day (Turnstone, 2008), and a once and future Winnipegger. She is associate professor of Canadian literature at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.