snuck in, incognito, through underground tunnels,
an oblong and gelatinous coil, 1573 grams, perfectly-
extracted from his young man’s skull. On the table,
it had a healthy sheen. Only inside did it glare trauma,
boomerang-shaped caverns, septum pellucidum withered
to crepe, fornix and hippocampus shrunken, tau protein
flung shrapnel throughout the frontal cortex. He had beautiful
pathology, the doctor determined, this dead athlete, this dead
moneymaker. Nowhere, though, does the article state
the obvious—the 14-billion-dollar industry that drives
the damage, ensures it, knows all about it—the full stadiums,
the memorabilia, the networks, the advertising—cracking
these heads together, week after week, its army of minders
spinning pathology, clearing the field for the next game, and the one after.
On the Table, the Brain Appeared Normal [New York Times]
Devon Balwit is a writer/teacher from Portland, OR. Her poems have appeared here as well as in The New Verse News, Rattle, Redbird Weekly Reads, Rise-Up Review, Rat’s Ass Review, The Rising Phoenix Review, Mobius, What Rough Beast, and more.