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Sport 36: Winter 2008

To my mother's surgeon

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

page 143

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.