Amygdala by Brandi Kary

Things fail us.

My sister’s grey matter,
the the letter “O” drawn in sand,
the needle of a compass,
remorse, the orbits of moon–

Yet, we know the magic of the
brain, setting each hemisphere
on fire, each fold, each wrinkle, the
geographies of thought.

I once held the skull
of a child in my palm:
female, six years old,
small bullet hole
behind her left eye.

Fissures webbed across her head
like lighting, fault lines
in to her body—
the flesh failed.

We were so matter of fact about it.

You ask me to explore her lambda
for the exit wound, I traced two
fingers across the equator—
I find nothing.

Think of maps not traveled,
Think of tunnels and
dark caverns where we
lose them, spaces where
they leave us—

The failure is not
the thing itself, no,
no, the failure is in the not
knowing how to make
the exit wound, and then
knowing how difficult
it is to forgive after.