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Round: Mirrors of Bagram

He can't speak, but learns that he can sing
his wishes, the brain's right hemisphere remembering
melodies for "Go away," "Come back." His wife
stands beside him, mirroring his life,
spooning his medicine. She recalls him like someone
else, a man lost to an IED outside of Bagram

in '07, a man who remembers nothing
until the therapist comes with her singing
book, her specially strung machines
with melodies to call back the brains
of patients shaken loose outside of Bagramó
men who sing their wishes with perfect aim

but whose words go nowhere, off the scale
in a mirror's infinite regression. It's all
his wife can do to stand beside him, the other
man who could have ordered his thoughts before
the blast unstrung his wishes. Bagram's mirrors
crack, he rocks and rocks, his memories' orders

shake the scales, but his arms are ghost limbs
stringing no other instrument. The singing programs
ache in his brain, his wishes are measureless
against the shakes within. His wife addresses
him from the mirror, that other life. Her voice breaks
but he sings to her because he cannot speak.

Carolyne Wright

This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems
Lost Horse Press

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