To Alison

When they gave you your plates
to hand on to some new doctor,
you held them up to the window
and saw the sky in them,
the river running through your skull,
twigs meeting at the cerebellum,
your brain uncurling, tentative
as a snail on its late glide-path.
Since then I have often thought
of snails and their reflexes,
seeing a slice of America
green through your head’s filter.

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