April 7, 2009

Behind the Retina
Thomas Sheehan

Just behind the retina,
hidden in a cluster, is a little room
with a secret door and passageways
and key words other
than Sesame.

If you’re lucky enough
to get inside that room at the right
time, there’s ignition, there’s light, there’s a flare;
now and then there’s pure incandescence
like a white phosphorous shell
detonating, the core room
of memories, the bank

holding everything
you’ve ever known, ever seen,
ever felt, spurting with energy.
The casual, intermittent presences
you usually know are microscope-beset,
become immediate. For those glorious

moments the splendid
people rush back into your life
carrying all their baggage, the Silver Streak
unloaded, Boston’s old South Station
alive, bursting seams,
tossing images.


Thomas Sheehan’s latest books are Brief Cases, Short Spans and From the Quickening. A collection of cowboy stories, Where the Cowboys Ride Forever, is now in the hands of a western publisher. His work has also appeared in many print and online publications. Sheehan has several Pushcart nominations and won the Georges Simenon Award. His web site is here.

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