Today's poem is by Gail Waldstein M.D.

a pathologist's prayer

what I see first is a                   child's corpse
naked on a steel gray         morgue table
my work so long
swallowing hard against soured
stomach curds                         hiding those tidy
faces         beneath surgical towels
as if their stone-open eyes
didn't speak, as if their mouths
hadn't begged for honey         or Mama
as if those tidal fists                 limp and flat
hadn't reached          just yesterday
for hair, an earring

as if they no longer feel
yet what if

and who are we who         scalpel, probe
claw for clues
desecrate bodies
as if naming disease         delivers us

our flesh still warm, we suck air
bite our nails, go home to bed
feast on uranium

but at night
when he's done with me
I wonder if

                        some thing of them hovers

a skull vibrating after a tuning fork's
removed         the umbra of a hand protecting
a lash         cutting her cornea

Copyright © 2015 Gail Waldstein M.D. All rights reserved
from The Hauntings
Swan Scythe Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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