The Autopsy

Sandy Hiss

Chicken flesh lays on the cutting
board resembling a fresh corpse
carried on used gurneys toward
sterile surrender. Mom prepares for
the autopsy.

Silverware sparkles as knives
are sharpened on heavy sighs.
Instruments of death that delight
in the cut. Like soldiers on the
battlefield, they were taught
to kill or be killed. There is no
other way.

After the dissection, the anger
of bitter steam, she cleans every
crack, every secret that ever crept
its way into dark places.

Scrubbing until her fingers ache.
The dead travel through her veins,
calling her name; she pretends not
to hear. Life dangles from her ears
holding on tight.

Ghosts may exist, memories certainly
do. Neither can be touched.