9.12.19 // first death
After hours of struggle, noise,
knife and clamp and lung flapping wetly
like a broken bird wing in an open chest,
there is this part, the dismantling:
pull the drapes, strip the scene bare, reveal
under all the pulsing visceral flash
his face, gaze cast heavenward, mouth leaking bile,
hands curled in papal benediction
with thin rinds of blood beneath each fingernail —
dark crescents, moons photographed in negative.
You reach down to close the glassy eyes,
as much for your benefit as for his.
When he was born someone must have wiped the blood
off of him and now, here you are,
closing the circle under fluorescent lights
with a wet lap and a green towel.
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