A.M. Juster

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Vertigo

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                                              The world turns liquid, reels and rolls
                                                          as gravity
 
                                              veers at angles; what was still
                                                          is blurred and whirled.
 
                                              Revolutions echo; you lie  
                                                          still for hours,
 
                                              too weak for vomiting and still
                                                          too dazed for prayer.
 
                                              No whiz-bang device can repair
                                                          your inner ear;
 
                                             doctors try shifting crystal shards, 
                                                         like sad wizards.  
 
                                              Sometimes it’s magic, sometimes not—
                                                          they never know.
 
                                              They never know what to advise
                                                          if that trick fails.
 
                                              Focus your eyes on horizons,
                                                          one whispered once,
 
                                              It helps to refocus the brain;
                                                          the brain resets.
 
                                              The brain can reset in the ways
                                                          my father’s did.
 
                                              When his tumor nicked a vein,
                                                          cells drowned in blood.
 
                                              His bloodied brain regathered words,
                                                          word word by word.
 
                                              Grace is not crystalline, but grit
                                                          that squints at pain.
 
                                              Grace is the will to retake things,
                                                          thing thing by thing.