Brain Atlas
Rebecca Macijeski
Next to the phone numbers and the shape of my name
is a thread back to drawing for hours 
through summer days as a girl—my hand tight
around the bright red marker. And frogs 
in the creek along the neighbor's yard,
mud's primordial hold on my boots.
Watching a bat flash in and out of the street light
carrying with it some black distant knowledge
I still can't make sense of.

Then vast regions for the places I've been.

A crescent of tissue the size of Japan,
salty and solemn and wrapped in paper.

Rome and the way Colosseum rain filled the gargoyles,
all of time and sky gushing out their mouths.

Vienna opening in layers like a pastry.
Prague its own night mind drinking beer 
and slamming glasses down on wooden bars.
Cities with no names, faces without
sound. Just a shape, a slant, a busy
street corner, a hand selling flowers,
the murmuring of traffic and rush,
a subway token, a leaf.

My deck this morning and the cold that tunnels 
through my sleeves, finding me here. My eyes
calm, waiting for sun, threading
a highway of light across closed lids.
This illumined grid.
Rebecca Macijeski received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2011 and is currently studying toward a PhD in Poetry at University of Nebraska–Lincoln where she serves as an Assistant Editor in Poetry for Hunger Mountain and Prairie Schooner. She also is an assistant to Ted Kooser's newspaper project, American Life in Poetry. Some of her recent work has been featured as part of the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project, and she is a recipient of a 2012 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize. She has attended artist residencies with The Ragdale Foundation and Art Farm Nebraska. Poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poet Lore, Painted Bride Quarterly, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Whiskey Island, Lullwater Review, Fickle Muses, Phantom Drift, Border Crossing, Fourteen Hills, and others.


more by Rebecca Macijeski:
October Eighth