“Every medical student, at some point in their training, will take a class in which they are assigned a cadaver to take apart. It is done as a means of offering students “hands on,” experiential learning.
“I have a friend who is taking this class – “Gross Anatomy” – and he said this: ‘You get desensitized. By week four you hardly remember that this was a human. It doesn’t even look human, it is just a body.’
My poem is an attempt at processing this small horror. This reduction of human life into a single toxicology report.”
The difference between us
is the color of our gallbladders:
hers, neon green, the color of sick,
mine, robins egg, is throbbing blue
and deathless. Empty
is as humbling as a human
heart in the hands.
Nothing as troubling as cross section
of knuckles – wrenched ampersands
exposing embolism in radial artery.
Or lateral lines splicing hips. I know how
to parse quaternary vein. Salvation
pulsed into left femur. This blood knew
how to stain a gospel. “Look, here
is clavicle,” I say, reaching
towards my own neck – common
denominator. Sometimes, I forget
that it is cadaver and this is nothing
more than pathology.