the healing muse

Volume 2, 2002

Phrenology: A Villanelle

Jack Coulehan

Concavities and lumps above my ear
tell narratives I never would have known
before relentless loss of all my hair

turned the truth about my scalp so baldly clear-
the story of my life is in the bone.
Convexities and slumps above my ear

identify the site of passion: here.
Like tenacity and hope, it’s in a zone
invisible before the loss of hair

writ large the heady script of character.
Depression, fancy, awkwardness intone
a complexity that’s bunched above my ear

for you to read. Your gentle fingers, dear,
interpret my desire, and mine alone.
My scalp is blessed to have no trace of hair.

And I am blessed to know how much you care
unsettling perhaps, for you are young
and concavities and bumps above the ear
are lost in transient waves of lustrous hair.

Return to Table of Contents, Volume 2, 2002.

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