I have not often studied the brain. Before you, words like cortex and lobe
mattered only because they exist in the intellectual space where I live.
I know little of neurotransmitters, except that mine are somehow conspiring
to make me write this poem. Thank God for that.
I know there are words that make me feel like a child tracing her fingers
over the first story told in multi-syllable bits. I know you can read these words
through my skull when you try to sound out what I’m thinking.
I’m talking about big words, words like serotonin and fluoxetine and panacea,
which means “cure-all,” and does not exist. I’m talking about the fine print,
the doctor’s scripts, the words I can’t pronounce.
I know you kick, hard and involuntary, in your sleep, trying to find a place to shelve
the words that trip the tongue and stall the mind. I know there are thoughts
I cannot know: the subtext of the storybooks I read. I know you cannot tell me
what they mean, except that they have truncated our dreams.