Your skull protects gyrated bits of brain
where music and poetry and stars all dance,
in miraculous molecular light shows—
Neural networks lead to last night’s left-overs
and oh, the keys. And how to drive.
In that beautiful treasure box is the secret
of how your crooked mouth
smiles its tender morning smile.
This precious bony skull—
a skull any phrenologist would long to touch—
This skull contains infinite connections.
In the case of cancer and craniotomy
then you lose irretrievable stray items:
the name of your first love.
. . .the word love. . .
and how to keep from crying
when loving eyes try guiding you
(with a nameless sort of hope)
to this morning’s tender smile.