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April 6, 2008

I. Fear

bleating….broken….bare boned
skin held together with epoxy…..with ligatures
what wants to pull apart when the body is no longer of service
what falls into disuse as soon as blood stops circulating

(the mass spread before we could catch it
we’re sorry
maybe you need some time alone
here’s someone you can call
they should be able to assist you)

II. Isolation

lament for the ICU
lament for the gathering sky
lament for masturbation
lament for holidays
lament for morphine
lament for making no sense
lament for aphasia

III. Choking Hazards

swollen tongue….cotton rags
too many syllables in the throat
breath held in the chest….fluid into lungs
medical implements used for the going-over

IV. The Body

what has gone unnoticed for years
what has given us no reason to complain
where is the ripcord….the safety manual
why can’t the dismissal be temporary
the weight of weight
final acts….an untidy separation

V. Removal

before going under
we all laugh the drunken laugh
of the soon to be sliced open

by Dana Guthrie Martin

  1. April 6, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    A visceral, shocking-into-silence poem, Dana. Thank you.

  2. April 6, 2008 at 9:07 pm


  3. April 7, 2008 at 6:01 am

    It’s awesome the way you have used language to forge a strongly emotional poem held together with a well-managed tension.

  4. pat
    April 7, 2008 at 11:25 am

    I read those last three lines over and over. Wonderful. Powerful. Thank you!

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