Rosalie Moffett

I was taught the lyric is a song

I was taught the lyric is a song

            outside of time.

In narrative, there is consequence:



            A leads to B. Before

she hit her head she’d been watching

            the snails heal themselves, tricks



their brains performed on the stage

            the microscope made.

Once, as a child, I helped, wielding tiny scissors,



            knife-sharp, to snip

one eye off each snail and she recorded how

            the brain ordered



the eye to regenerate. Because of her,

            I knew it was eye stalk

not antenna, not tentacle.



            I knew all the right terms.

I wasn’t allowed to retain a childish lexicon.

            On the playground,



I’d tell the girls with kickballs wedged

            under their shirts, It’s called

a uterus— Since then, I’ve learned



            the word sequela , as in

sequel, as in symptoms that follow

            a concussion



like an army, erect black tents

            in the mind. I’ve ceased

to believe a song can exist



            for very long

outside repercussion.