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Scintillating Scotoma

Alexander Seils

It begins when I step out of the library on a

Clear-skied day: a squeezing of the vessels

Behind my eyes, an expanding dust bunny spot

Over my vision, glowing at the edges—and

Now I am tossed into frantic disarray.

I think, is this it—is this time a stroke?

I’m five years old. There: my grandmother on a

Stretcher, body slack and pale. Stoppage in her

Brain. Ambulance outside. To her I step,

Reach, touch my tiny hand to hers and squeeze.

Her eyes gaze far away; her face kaleidoscopes—

This is what it’s like to stare down the barrel of

A loaded gun and not see the bullet.

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