Thursday, 10 August 2017

Dark Matters

Image Kassiël Gerrits

My wife insists my legs run constantly
although I think she's making assumptions
based on the rucked up bedsheets on my side.
I'm pretty sure she doesn't move at night.
She settles to sleep like so - and that's how
she is when the morning cracks the curtains.
So maybe it is me. Restless legs? Meh.

Last night was different though. At three AM
I woke. Not in bed but on the landing.
My feet were wet and cold. The moon was full
and I could see my watery footprints
padding up the stairs from the open door,
wild silver light spilling across the lawn.
I traced my steps back out to the grey shrubs.

A large man approached me and I was scared,
shitting it in truth but I didn't run.
Not with my limp. He was wearing this mask.
A helmet really. It seemed like the moon
was within him and shining from these slits
in the mask. He spoke but surprisingly
his voice was soft, calm. "I'll be the surgeon

implanting your Deep Brain Stimulation
There's really nothing to worry about."
I recalled earlier meetings, talking
about wires like rods of fat spaghetti
being eased through my Basal Ganglia.
No one had ever mentioned a helmet.
"Why the helmet?" I asked. "Oh this device?

Your brain will emit some radiation."
He laughed confidently, began whirring...

(Dark Matters refers  to Substantia Nigra - the part of the brain most affected by the death of cells in Parkinson's Disease)

First published at Visual Verse 8/17 as an ekphrastic response to this image from Kassiel Gerrits

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