Sunday, October 25, 2020

This submission won second place in the Synapse Storytelling Contest creative writing category.


Child, I

           lay him supine upon the funereal table

viburnum-skinned, blent

with the humorless chalcedony cloth and

dehumanized latex hands.


Beyond displaced sternum and steel jaws

pumps the inarticulate crimson mass —

scalpel-kissed sweatiness singing

the drums of a dirge to a halt, deposed by

an apt apparatus of spinning wheels and licorice ribbons twitching.


Stooped over, surgeon’s eye in mind, I

vapidly stare,

anastomose analytics, and incise

precisely, perfectly upon the flesh, the flesh.

The chest of Pandora I open, finding all plagues and little


A head of geraniums, a fruit of Eden.


Sinew and blood, heavy as anvils,

the lead laden child, a child,

but a child.


Stitch him up I do,

bit by bit, suture the linen skin,

seal the cavity, the tomb, the tomb,

encasing a dead heart risen.


Now he lies, tubes and pale skin.

Tape and crinkly blankets.

An ostensibly fissured thorax.

A posy of sanguine roses and white chrysanthemum.


Lest I turn into wires or stone,

scavenge my sorrow and my woe from

the vivisection of a beleaguered heart

and find

              youth chasmed from hope

             far far far.