Anatomy Class

They hover around the body
after reading the letter
from the donor.

How much he loved this woman
who bore him three children,
the woman to whom he made love

so often, this body that he loved
and touched even in old age.
Here she is and soon they will bless

the cranium and open it and look
at her brain and remove it
for further gazing

and they look into every part
of this woman, not like voyeurs,
but like lovers touching

and naming and exploring every part
of her. She is nothing like the scary red
pictures in the medical books.

She is the body in its beauty.
The medical student says
he loves this body of an old woman,

and he’s not afraid to open it and see
what’s in the bones. He’ll have to crack
the femur, remove the eyeball, what

made it see? What did it miss? Did
she hear everything her husband
said to her? Did her nose smell?

Did the tongue taste? The hands
to wave, to wave goodbye, the nest
of the soul somewhere singing even

as the body is broken down and looked at
and named and poked at until all is gone
and not gone, all gone and not gone.


|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| © Margaret Szumowski