A New Clairvoyance
A parcel lies, half open on the floor
by elizabeth jardine godwin
crumpled, worn and familiar
the soft dent of fingers, still discernable
a ghostly handprint.
For a moment we live in the bright blue world of each other's eyes
but this is merely a turn on the stair.
Back and forth down the abacus of days
only do not count them.
Through the pattern of cloth, it is possible to see where fate, like a
bullet from a smoking chamber, awful and opportune,
entered the bodies of our ancestors:
a pin-prick that seared,
demanded its way, to detonate flesh, bone and sinew
exiting in spray.
Rushing through galleries of time,
resumes its indiscriminate flight
towards the expectant canopy of our skin,
grasping fists to make a key of fire,
splintering lungs to spike the air.
Genetics weaves its fingers over the besmirched fabric
teases out clues to:
estimate the bullet coming
see its trajectory through our viscera
calculate the pattern of the exit spray.
Medicine, like daylight, helps us find the plumb line of our balance
to kick our blood back
and hope the fuliginious bullet will burn itself out, comet-like,
before it reaches us
carrying the family silver.