Poem of the Week | September 06, 2021

This week’s Poem of the Week is “Possible Consolation of a Brain Scan’s Topography” by Carolina Hotchandani!

Carolina Hotchandani is a poet and Goodrich Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in AGNI, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cincinnati Review, Prairie Schooner, West Branch, and other journals. She received full tuition fellowships to attend two sessions of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 2021 as well as a half-tuition grant to attend Napa Valley Writers’ Conference in 2017. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and daughter.


Possible Consolation of a Brain Scan’s Topography

On the scan: a flattened ridge, a valley grown wide—
a smoothness that explains away

the gaps.

My father and I took a road trip once—
California through the Rockies
to the Great Plains.

The outer layer of his brain
is like Nebraska, where I
live now.

I could find comfort in this:
flat land surrounds me,
blanketed with corn.

He doesn’t
remember the trip,
but he’s here with me


Author’s Note

The attempt to represent the loss of shared memory raises certain questions (or it has for me): how can I capture the loneliness felt when a loved one is there but has forgotten the events and stories that comprise this loving relationship? In this poem, I reached for presences—the landscapes of my memory and of my current home—to try to capture what the forgetful mind has erased.