Sport 36: Winter 2008
To my mother's surgeon
I dreamed you were taking photographs of me
concrete, elect, manipulating my tape-ribbon
in a room filled with light and sound
events, a bombardment. I was wearing
brown brushed satin, my eardrum
a hammer and anvil, you were
taking them from behind, catching
the smallest bones: the ossicles
the tympanic line of my jawbone, the flick
of vestibular canals, liquid balance
of eyelashes but not the eye. Outside,
decisions and idiophones
aerophones were being made, floating on the
threshold. Steam inhaled now waving
back at me from the water, washing to be done
and the dry wish of paper-stacking.
There were nests of musicians
and among them a pile of quiet
truck-horns. I broke off a letter in mid-sentence
to say: isn't that part of you in front of us?
Sir, Mister, I seek the direct
hope you were never given as a child
the buttery contact of fingers
and the quality of sleep I very much
hope you enjoy on the 25th
or 16th of the month the night before
the morning of the anaesthetic. Pull up
a stool, Mr Cochlear, finger its red brocade.
Pump the pedals—the thin black, the wider white ones.
Breathe in the polish. Play her precious keys.