Maija Haavisto

How to Enter Your Lover’s Brain

TW: paranoia, failure, existential dread, tangled neurons, fangled neurons, viscous boundaries, dystopian landscapes, parallel universes, unspeakable horrors, heavy breathing, breath-holding, death-beholding, go away go away, I told you not to enter, what the fuck is even wrong with you?

did I say unspeakable horrors?
because we’re going to talk that shit
and it’s going to be nothing
because words can’t capture
unspeakable horrors

how to enter your lover’s brain
to perform maintenance and exorcisms
in a corny plumber suit
looking like the clown you are
to dust cobwebs and scribble a note:
“please take out the trash x”

how to speak with utter conviction
in front of a grand jury of the past
all jumbled up in REM sleep
and twitchy hypervigilance
and it all contradicts you (as in, me)

how to enter your lover’s brain
and get the hell out
(abruptly, without trace
preferably in one piece)

spoiler alert: you don’t, you never do
the melding of souls is final

how to love a messy clump of synapses
that neuroscience pretends to fathom
but you can’t understand
brains with brains
or with anything
sans God the Almighty
and she hasn’t been here
in a long time
if ever
what fires together wires together
lights tire fires together
the wires: all tripwires

how to enter love with brains
a disaster that makes no sense
evopsych is rabid nonsense
unspeakable horrors
just wetware zeroes and ones
inexact approximations
of biological waste
if you caught a molecule of trauma
what would you do
wear it as a necklace?

how to:
you don’t, you never do
so many cavities to lure you in
but no exit, that’d be too easy

did I say unspeakable horrors?
it’s going to be
a long night


Maija Haavisto has had two poetry collections published in Finland: Raskas vesi (Aviador 2018) and Hopeatee (Oppian 2020). In English, her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in e.g. Topical Poetry, Wondrous Real, ShabdAaweg Review, Asylum, Eye to the Telescope, Shoreline of Infinity, and Kaleidoscope. Find her on Twitter at