Visiting Hours

In Room 509, a woman who's had the top
of her skull removed, around the polished
edge of bone her insides kept
from spillage by a wire mesh net.
What they took out, God knows, but she

seems unaware of concepts, of the colors
of leaves falling in the hospital gardens.
Maybe it was the weather they took out.
Her eyes reflect the haze her husband
visits from, he bearing, of all things,
flowers, white and white and white.


"Look," he says, showing me his hand
palm up, except there is no palm.
"Why draw attention to your deficits?" I ask.
"Because they're mine," he says,
and leaves me wondering to what depth
his emptiness extends, how long
I have to peer into such openness.

- David Tammer