Error in the Anterior Cingulate

Why unblooms the best hope ever seen?
Thomas Hardy, “Hap”


So it’s true that the mind conflates the horror
of one moment with whatever comes next,
that one could walk away from a showing
of crumpled bodies in a white and well-lit
gallery only to recoil from the partial view
of a beloved’s familiar collar bone against
an avalanche of clean linen. That we’re more
likely to wash our hands after grim stories,
and less likely to feel responsible once
the faucet is turned off. No wonder
we trade coffee table books of tiered
cakes and naked babies at Christmas,
crave gauzy wings and tiny glass lambs.
It’s clear that the overindulged brain
suffers bloat, sharing, as it does a chemistry
with the digestive tract. The barrage
of information dwindles to random captures,
moments that aren’t even precious, but simply
crumbs of chronicle, toe in a stirrup, curled
leavings of a meal, black glove in the snow
that has severed all memory of the hand.

Front page image by Peanutian.

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