Susan Mallory

When the neurologist shows me
the image of my husband’s brain,
I am reminded that Da Vinci dissected

human skulls in his search for
the seat of the soul. All I can see
is a large round white spot with

a long Latin name. I remember when
I tried to photograph the old Mayan
woman in Guatemala, how she hid

her face behind a wide brimmed hat,
afraid the camera would steal her soul.
I remember in the news the prodigy

who played Carnegie Hall and the pre-
schooler who calculated algebraic
equations. Old souls? Are old souls

different from the rest of us who
falter through life only once? I remember
reading about a man who claimed he saw

his wife’s soul leave her body at the moment
of death. And in the Galapagos, I remember
the flash of green the instant the sun slipped

below the fiery horizon. If, at that moment,
I’d blinked, I would have missed it. Wide eyed,
too, I see the circle of white against the gray.