Like an enormous leech the pancreas lies with its head tucked into the duodenum, upside down, the tail outstretched over it, an animal curled in on itself. In the preserve jar of the belly, it wriggles like a strange,
sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox
Lincoln, leaving Springfield, 1861,
boards a train with a salute: but it is weak.
To correct it, he slides his hand away
from his face as if waving, as if brushing
the snows of childhood from his eyes.
The train is coming east. In the window
Lincoln watches his face. You’ll grow old
the moment you arrive, he says to this face.
But you will never reach great age. The train
speeds like the cortical pressure wave
in the left lateral sinus, say, a bullet
in the skull. Then he will have his salute.
Then they will love him. Then eternity will slow, fall
like snow. Then the treaty with huge silence
which he, his face exhausted, must sign.