THE MOUTH OF THE DOCTOR  


 

I went to see 

a doctor 

of sorts 

because more 

and more I felt 

the bulking
of memories 

inside me 

and time

itself was crowding 

my organs 

and starting 

to leak out 

through my eyes

my hair follicles 

my dreams 

slicing me 

at the sites 

of departure 

the doctor 

listened as I

explained this

then opened 

her mouth 

to speak but what 

came out instead 

of words was this 

very small owl

which had 

apparently 

been perched 

on her tongue 

then her eyes 

went blank as if
she had left 

the room although 

she remained 

and the owl 

hovered before 

my face 

staring at me

with the same 

expectant look 

the doctor 

had previously

been wearing
so unsure
what else to do 

I began to explain

myself again 

to the owl 

this time 

about what time

and memory seemed 

to be doing 

the leaking 

the sites 

of departure etc.

and when 

I finished

the owl let 

itself drift 

down to the carpeted 

floor where it 

spread out 

its wings 

wide so each

feather was fully 

exposed and in 

that instant 

a tiny 

snail emerged 

from the wings

it had 

been camped between
the folds 

of feathers

apparently 

and like 

the doctor

previously 

the owl 

now seemed 

to leave 

the room without 

truly leaving but 

the snail

the snail was most

definitely here 

and was 

in fact climbing 

slowly up the leg

of my jeans 

I did not 

exactly want 

to touch it or 

it to touch me

and in 

that instant 

the instant I 

acknowledged this 

although I had 

acknowledged it 

only to myself 

the snail began 

to turn 

around and crawl 

back down 

my jeans 

then onto my shoe

then onto the beige
carpet and back 

up the narrow 

leg of the owl

embedding 

itself once

again into the folds 

of feathers and 

the owl

having waited 

patiently for this 

to happen seemed 

to reenter 

the room 

and turned 

and flew 

back into 

the mouth

of the doctor which 

had remained 

open ever since 

first opening 

but it closed now

the instant the owl 

flew into it 

 Mikko Harvey