Original Text: 

Shane Neilson. Meniscus. Emeryville, Ontario: Biblioasis. 2009

1The particulates of matter
2and one man on a plastic slab,
3lying so still a black bear,
4shambling through the hospital,
5would nudge him with is nose
6and leave him for dead.
7Close quarters of a cylinder:
8embalmed in a missile,
9I’m shot into the clutch of armies—
10sounds of battle: scrape,
11crunch, clang of swords
12on shields, roar of jet engines.
13As the MRI works, I pray
14it can’t detect failures. On cue,
15the machine catches, slows
16to the rhythmic thrum
17of a hammer pounding nails
18in a coffin. It knows
19the brain’s a tangled knot
20of blighted thought, a gnarled
21whorl of the soul’s dark root—
22then it moves to the body’s
23lush pastures, a harvest
24of grains and tubers
25in the long magnetic season.
RPO poem Editors: 
Jim Johnstone
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Poem used with permission of the author.