Mary Morris

Gods of a Grand Mal

They come

cause grave     electrical disturbances     in the brain.
I resist     resign     pass out     head to floor     forget
all the names               and places          I knew before.

Between breath     and death     fading voices     of ghosts
someone murmurs     She’s lost her color.

          Body robbers—

Trust us they say     Don’t belong     Come     with us
And I hear that song     repeated at times     when a witness to cruelty.

Gods who emit acrid vapors     an atmosphere identical to dictators.
A gray silk breath rises like clouds.

I am breathing again     and the gold light of dawn
thrums through my fallen body.

From the floor I hear my son singing from his crib.
His voice inspires     flowers in new life.     I want     to live

My family calls me     superstitious     yet surely the ghost still arrives.
∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆

from some unknown     residence     place of obscurity
remote sighs.

With faint images     like underdeveloped film
          an assimilation     appears     behind windows
                                                          whispers itself into curtains.



Mary Morris is the author of three books of poetry, Enter Water, Swimmer, Dear October, and a third, Late Self-Portraits, forthcoming from Michigan State University Press (2022), winner of the Wheelbarrow Books prize, selected by Leila Chatti. She received the Rita Dove Award, Western Humanities Review Mountain West Writer’s Award, New Mexico Discovery Award, New Mexico Women’s Press Award, and has been invited to read her poems at the Library of Congress, which aired on NPR. Her poems appear in Boulevard, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, The Los Angeles Review, and The Massachusetts Review.