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< back : index : next >    An Unkindness of Ravens : by Rebecca Lu Kiernan

A n a t o m y
It's just a study of anatomy, nothing obscene.
I'm going to perform it without anesthesia.
Your ligaments, more flexible than your heart,
Your blood much cooler than your temper.
Think of the night we met on the roof
In our black suits and bulletproof vests,
In the silence of hand signals.

This is going to hurt a lot.
I'm afraid it's going to border on violence.
Think of how the sea speaks to you
Softly from the emptiness of a shell.
Maybe you should go some place in your head,
Lamb white heaven, cave black, red Mars.
Some amnesia is to be expected,
Phone numbers, street addresses, faces.
Oddly, you might remember the names of all the stars,
The distance of the spaces between.
Most survivors go on to live near normal lives
Unaware of what's been taken,
Walking through walls and trees and flesh.
There's a pawing of empty raincoat pockets.
You might be calling at 3 A.M.
For someone who might speak your new language,
Who might have a heart they're not using
And talk with you as if they understand
The patience of a wolf,
The emptiness of a man.



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