Today's poem is by Gretchen Primack

Doris (Cardiology 14 E)
        They had been jammed into their bodies without knowing why.
        —Anne Sexton

My bones are in one hospital room,
soft tissue another. I don't mind the blood; I like
to see it on this side of my skin for a change.
My sack of skin packed with red and brown organs,
like clown parts stuffed into a duffel. Sometimes
I sponge down my skin suit until it is clean, with nothing
from the inside soaking through.

I don't mind the passage of time; it means
I can enjoy hindsight. Thoughts are elastic: A picnic
at the botanic gardens: Starched petals, starchy pistils,
floury moths, all here to perform, little do they know.

I've probably been more alone,
but I can't think when. I can't think why
someone would create a child.

Oho, Doctor! Come monitor my lumbering heart
for signs of disease. From time to time it growls
like a bird. From time to time it falls like a rose head.
You are qualified to scribble such things in my chart;
my own mother let you work alongside
her awkward brown heart until they dumped me,
a bucket of proteins, into the world, to live and dry
under the planets.

All around the world, the regular people
are growing bone shards in their bellies.
The eye sockets are digging themselves
out. The meat starts. The eruption of hope
around cord blood. They start to punch
in the sixth month. Some things come later,
arbitrarily. Teeth, for instance. A hard
skull. Hair. Some things are there

from the beginning, like skin and saliva,
like punching.

They will become us, and why? The regular
women want to stick something
to themselves. Grow tiny new suits
of skin. Grow organs fitted like countries
into the chest in their chest. Enough!
Let me slough,

Doctor. I know what you're thinking behind
your masks and charts, same as I am: I can unravel you,
unwrap the meal of you, unshutter your sweet little
. What are you blinking for? Slide
your eyes closed! Don't bruises swim
behind our lids? Doesn't yellow script float there:
I'm sorry?

Copyright © 2014 Gretchen Primack All rights reserved
from Doris’ Red Spaces
Mayapple Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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