My father’s brain filleted
on the icy X-ray block
glows luminescent, a strange fish on a slab.
I shiver at this part of him
I never thought I’d see.
Instead his neural pathways presented in a grin
we shared on Sundays by the sea,
watching birds scatter air when he clapped his hands.
The surgeon explains how meningiomas
develop. They don’t so much grow within it
but rather push the brain away. He points with a thick finger,
Here. And here. Where the circle is broken.
The surgeon says, It is the size of a bird egg. I am too scared
to ask which type. My father would prefer
a seagull or curlew. Atypical,
the surgeon says, faster growing, likely to grow back.
My father’s brilliant network of networks.
Now, just the sound of ice splitting.