John Estes

Nothing says I love you
like a bore hole will.
A trepanned skull, like
an eye emptied
of intention—lazy how
a lion is lazy—draws
out or lulls scattering
phantasms to abandon
their nests, however
furious.  Will you see
now how the blind
spot got built-in, not
yet selected against,
and maybe accept
the junction of gaps—
however acute
but coarse the image—
that presents itself
easy as anesthesia, 
as signing the release
or convalescing or
taking to auger against
doctor's orders, cold
compress holding
the stitches in where
his nevermore once
lived?  The chamber
cleared, garments
cleaned and ready,
what force welcomes
duty's threshold
like the common
picture of a hollow
cup? A ganglion
want is made worthy
by a sharp lookout
and a nerve for it.


"Epithalamium" is dedicated to Luke and Margaret.  The poem exploits its realization that Luke had brain surgery near his thalamus, a mass of matter which like the epithalamium takes its name from the Greek word for a wedding (or inner) chamber.  Luke welcomes exploitation for the sake of art.