“Epileptics Arrive on Christmas Day” by Steve Myers

Steve Myers


and none too soon.
On the floor of the den,
my stormstruck wife nods off
at last, released from her rigor’s
rhythm, collar loosened
in the clonic weather
of the seizure that came on
at noon. The winter sun’s gone
imprecise, windy, Zoroastrian.
Only a jay that sips a skim
of snowmelt from a stone bowl
seems to have sidestepped the air
of general vacancy, but when
a sharp-shinned hawk appears
in the sky like a dark star,
that’s him. At rest, my wife
puts on the same null smile
as the neighbor girl
who took me to the barn
to tell me Brad Bannister
had drowned in a two-foot shoal
of the Delaware. I was ten;
I remember the look of gold
over everything, as if
between earth and atmosphere
a bartering of space for light,
an accommodation, a hospitality.
When David Nagel
set his angelic, vivid heart
against Jon Stelerath
on a high school wrestling mat,
a cathedral silence pressed
on all of us. I remember
most of all his golden arms,
after, as he lay naked,
collapsed, twisting semaphoric Xs
in the shower stall.
I once leaned close enough
to see the spittle on a wedding gown
of Mary Ellen Glemser,
stretched below the altar
in an overheated church in Watkins Glen,
the grand mal’s spendthrift energy
driving her to drum
with one bare heel the hollow floor.

from Rattle #24, Winter 2005

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