Poem A Day/My Autopsy

My Autopsy

I’m standing next to a man
with curls the colour of Root Beer.

I could kiss the tendons
in his neck and he wouldn’t notice.

He would go home and to sleep
not knowing a dead girl had traced
the half moon curve of his ear.

I move slowly around the room,
observing my body from angles I
couldn’t witness when I was alive.

They open me right up.

A man who should have died before me,
makes a large, deep incision at the top
of each of my shoulders, and runs
it down the length of my torso.

It sounds like he’s using my mother’s
fabric scissors to cut through silk.

The sound keeps going, until he reaches
the ribs, which crack and splinter like dry wood.

My fat look embarrassingly like layers
of All American Cheese. My muscles
are the shade of Scottish salmon. My organs
are colourless, devoid of all blood.

With the skin and rib cage pulled back,
my chest is pushed up. The interior of my
body is a maze of different shaped islands.
Some quiver but most lie horribly still.

I learn my brain is a full 2kg.
My fist sized heart is 650g.
The weight of both seems illogical.

My death was natural. The autopsy
takes up just half an afternoon.

They place my organs in plastic bags,
put them back inside me, stitch up my skin.

The man with curls has the needle
and thick, waxed thread.

There is no fumbling in his fingers.
No sweat on his brow. He is good at this,
he has done it before.

Everyone leaves, their white, gore
pitted gloves unfurling like flowers
at dawn in the stainless steel bin.

I kiss my own forehead. Notice a notebook.
The writing is still neat, yet to adopt the hurried
scrawl of a fully qualified doctor.

I learn that the term autopsy is Greek
and means to see for oneself.


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